Balma : Lots A6a / A6b
Alternative water management
+ Bouygues Immobilier + Urbis + Brochet-Lajus-Pueyo architectes + Atemps architectes
Balma / Haute-Garonne
Surface area / 9000 m²
Date / 2012
The project is part of the Balma-Gramont concerted development area (ZAC) on the outskirts of Toulouse.
On the outskirts of Toulouse, there is a plot next to the hillside with a marked topography which offers wide views of the surrounding urban landscape below. The planning approach is to install a tiered landscape associated with the waterway, making a recreational and practical ‘valley’ in the heart of the urban block.
The project is characterised by three landscapes:
- The terrace. Located above a semi-underground car park, this garden esplanade, at the foot of the housing units, is a convivial shared space with a vegetable garden available for everyone to use.
- The terraced slopes. A place to relax, next to the housing attached to the slope. Wide meadows unfurl over these terraces, shaded by alleys of fruit trees. Gabions sit at the foot of these stone terraces, helping to guide the rainwater, dispersing it around the paths into the soil.
- The gravel valley. Located at a low point, at the foot of the terraces, it is a major link between the various project spaces. Connecting the housing and commercial properties, this strip of landscape is hollow, fluctuating according to the rhythm of seasonal rain showers.
A blue frame work echoes the green framework of the terraces and orchards. Gravel rain gardens guide and filter the rainwater from the whole project site. The bottom of the valley is designed as a mineral esplanade lacerated with planting beds. This vegetation creates a filter between the public space and the buildings whilst still maintaining easy access. Next to the offices, these filtered spaces form separate rooms with furniture to sit, lunch and rest.