Malniu rest area
Landscape intervention in Meranges, La Cerdanya.
A landscaping strategy based on water management in the surroundings of the new Exhibition Park in Toulouse (France), a complex designed by the OMA (Rem Koolhaas) + Puig-Pujol + Taillandier + Ingerop offices
The MEETT is conceived as a new gateway to the city that will host exhibitions, conferences, and concerts. With a built-up area of 338,000 m2 within an area of approximately 130 ha, the project has been designed as a compact mini-city (as opposed to the large extensions of exhibition parks) to preserve the environment of the French countryside.
Instead of expanding over the entire available area (a mosaic of abandoned or sporadically exploited agricultural fields), the project focuses on a 2.8km-long, 320m-wide “strip” crossed by the RD902 highway. This band will serve as an area to house future uses and will act as a link between the Garonne River and the Airbus 380 factory. The 660 m long and 24 m high building takes on a monumental scale in its size, but at yet subtle in its overall impact.
The landscaping project values this compactness with a humble and highly graphic intervention proposal that takes advantage of the spaces located between the main flow infrastructures of the site and the building and proposing an action based on the management of rainwater.
Linear furrow shapes inspired by existing agricultural structures are replicated and subtly inserted into the path of water through the free spaces. These green structures host a Mediterranean, continental, and Atlantic type of low forest vegetation, sequentially, reflecting the particular condition of Toulouse, a meeting of these 3 macroclimates. These structures also allow the creation of eco-systems capable of maintaining humidity and favoring the evapotranspiration of the vegetation. The water ends its way in large retention ponds and lagoons where it is laminated and filtered by phyto-purification, on its way to the river.
The ensemble offers a kinetic landscape to the daily users of the main infrastructures, capable of dialoguing with the monumental scale of the building and framing the urban piece of the PEX as the gateway to the metropolis of Toulouse.