Valode & Pistre wins the competition for the University of Toulouse - Le Mirail
UniversIty OF Toulouse LE Mirail
Valode & Pistre has won the PPP competition for the University of Toulouse - Le Mirail project, together with its partners Cardete & Huet, as part of the group formed by Vinci Construction. The project site, covering an area of 60,000 m², is located in the middle of the campus designed by Candilis in 1970 and will house the philosophy, music, literature, history, art, archaeology and sociology departments. Just like digital networks which are now an integral part of education and teaching, as well as of our daily lives, the university's structure is a three-dimensional network of connections between lecturers, students and researchers, and between the production, distribution and sharing of knowledge. This concept of networking, initiated by Candilis, the pioneer of “capable space” of adapting to all the configurations and developments of teaching methods also makes the university a factor in the urban cohesion of Le Mirail district.
A vast covered network crosses the whole project and constitutes both a link between the northern and southern districts of Le Mirail and the heart of the university's social life with cafés, sports facilities and communal areas. The accessibility to Le Mirail district, the welcoming of students, the affirmation of the university's identity as a symbol of knowledge and sharing are expressed through an immense 200 m wide canopy. It marks the entrance to the park. The façades, with a plant-inspired design, refer to the gothic themes of Toulouse and to the great European and American universities. Integrated in a large linear park, developed on the theme of the stages of knowledge, the university embraces an ambitious environmental approach, favouring light and ergonomic and thermal acoustic comfort.
Thus, through its architecture and its organisation strategy, the project aims to become an urban nurturing ground for the city of Toulouse and for learning on a European scale.