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Old November 23rd, 2007, 06:10 PM   #1
brisavoine
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TOULOUSE | Projects & Construction

A skyscraper was announced for Toulouse two weeks ago!! This is Toulouse's first skyscraper. So it's time to start a thread about one of France's most dynamic and attractive cities.

Toulouse
(hear local pronunciation here (it's not me!), Parisian pronunciation here (not me either); you'll need to install this software to listen to the files)

Located in South-West France on the banks of the Garonne River, Toulouse is the fifth-largest city in France, with 440,000 inhabitants in the city proper and 1.1 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area. The city is in the middle of a demographic and economic boom. The population of the metropolitan area has doubled in the past 40 years. At the moment Toulouse is the metropolitan area above one million inhabitants with the fastest population growth in Europe (nearly +2% a year). If current trends continue, the population of the metro area should be above 2 million by the middle of the century.

Of course the boom experienced by Toulouse is due to the fact that it is the homebase of the European aerospace industry, with the headquarters of Airbus, Galileo positioning system, the SPOT satellite system, and CNES's Toulouse Space Center (CST), the largest space center in Europe. Thales Alenia Space, Europe's largest satellite manufacturer, and EADS Astrium Satellites, EADS's satellite system subsidiary, also have a significant presence in Toulouse. The A380, the largest commercial plane in the world, is assembled and tested in Toulouse.

Toulouse is often regarded as the cultural capital of Occitania, the southern regions of France where the Occitan language was traditionally spoken, even though in Toulouse the French language has long replaced Occitan. For those visiting Toulouse for the first time, it has an allure decidedly different from the rest of France, especially from Paris. The accent is very different from Paris (and even Marseille), the mentality is also quite different from northern France, but it takes time living there to get a grasp of it. The national sport in Toulouse and South-West France is rugby and not football/soccer like in Paris, Marseille and most of the rest of France. Above all, the architecture is what strikes immediately the visitor : contrary to Paris and most French cities which are built of white limestone, Toulouse is built of pinkish bricks, hence its nickname : the "Pink City" (la Ville Rose). Pinkish brick architecture is not limited to Toulouse, it is actually the architecture of the region surrounding Toulouse, from Muret and Pamiers in the south to Montauban and Castelsarrasin in the north, and from Albi in the east to L'Isle-Jourdain in the west. Albi and Montauban are priceless jewels of pinkish brick architecture, same as Toulouse.

All things considered, Toulouse is often ranked in French polls as the most favorite city to live. Before coming to the skyscraper project, here are some famous landmarks in this beautiful city.

Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge over the Garonne river, with the old city of Toulouse and its pink brick architecture.


Place du Capitole, the central square of the city, with the beautiful city hall of Toulouse, known as the Capitole (i.e. the "Capitol", a reference to Roman antiquity).


Sidewalk cafés line the Place du Capitole, known as Place du Cap' to the locals.


At the center of the square is an Occitan Cross, the symbol of Occitania and Toulouse. It was the coat of arms of the counts of Toulouse in the Middle Ages, at a time when the County of Toulouse, extending all the way to the Rhône river, was quasi-independent from the kings of France, and the counts of Toulouse lead several crusades in the Holy Land.


The Capitole is a marvelous building built in the 18th century mixing the pink brick of Toulouse and the white limestone of northern France.




The facade is adorned with 8 pink marble columns from the marble quarries of Caune near the Pyrenees, the same quarries that provided the Grand Trianon of Versailles with its pink marbles. The 8 columns symbolize the 8 city councilors that made up the municipality before the French Revolution. The city councilors were known as the Capitouls, and their official gown was red and white, which are still the colors of the Toulouse rugby team today. Note the coat of arms of the kings of France (the fleur-de-lis) above the coat of arms of the French Republic, quite symbolic of France's history.


The cloister of the Jacobins, a jewel of Occitan gothic architecture, was part of the former monastery of the Dominicans, a mendicant order founded to fight the Cathar heresy. The kings of France took advantage of the crusade led against the Cathars to seize Toulouse and marry the daughter of the last count of Toulouse with the younger brother of King Saint-Louis of France. And so Toulouse became a French city.




The cloister church is an exceptional monument in which the relics of St Thomas Aquinas are worshipped. The 28-meter-high ribbed vaults comprising the famed and gigantic so-called “palmier”, one column whose ribs fan out resembling a palm-tree, is a very famous landmark.


Place Saint-Georges where the Protestant Jean Calas was executed on the breaking wheel in the 18th century, a miscarriage of justice made famous by Voltaire. The square is now a bustling and joyful place with sidewalk cafés and restaurants light-years from its dark past.


There are lots of bodegas in Toulouse, which cater to the big student population of the city (120,000 students in town, the third largest concentration of student after Paris and Lyon).




The Canal du Midi linking Toulouse to the Mediterranean was built in the 17th century under Louis XIV and is now a favorite spot for joggers and strollers.


The spectacular Saint-Sernin basilica, the largest Romanesque church in Europe, built around 1100 at a time when the counts of Toulouse were more powerful than the kings of France themselves.




On a clear day the snowy peaks of the Pyrenees can be seen 100 km (60 miles) in the distance as the crow flies.


The medieval street of rue du Taur (literally "street of the bull") links the Place du Capitole to Saint-Sernin basilica, commemorating the martyrdom or St Sernin, drawn alive by a bull where this street stands now and whose dead body was discarded where the St Sernin basilica stands now.


Rue Saint-Rome was the main street of the Roman city of Toulouse in antiquity, and is still the busiest shopping street in the city center, with thick crowds on Saturday afternoons.


Contrary to so many cities in northern France, Toulouse was far enough from Germany and has survived both world wars unscathed (no major combat in the area, no bombing raids). The medieval heart of Toulouse is thus nearly completely intact. Many little squares are hidden among the lace of tiny meandering medieval streets.
image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


Several Renaissance mansions are a testimony to the wealth of Toulouse merchants around 1500 when Toulouse was the main producer of woad (or glastum, or pastel in French) used across Europe to dye clothes and fabric blue, before the Spaniards discovered the indigo plant in the Americas and ruined Toulouse's main trade.


The quais of Toulouse are well worth those of Paris.




At sunset the entire city becomes rosy due to the reflection of the setting sun on the pink bricks.


On the left bank of the Garonne is the 18th-century dome of the city's oldest hospital, a famous landmark in Toulouse.


image hosted on flickr


But let's recall that Toulouse is now first and foremost a city of aviation.




The huge assembly plant of the A380, located in the northwestern suburbs, is the largest building in Europe.




The A380 above Toulouse's orbital motorway.


Toulouse is also the European capital of the space industry. Here CNES's Toulouse Space Center (CST) to the south of the city.


Cité de l'espace (Space City museum complex) to the east of the city.


Astrium satellite plant to the south-east of the city.


People in Toulouse are proud of their new automated métro whose second line opened this year.






New interchange station at Jean-Jaurès.


But what use would be a métro station if it didn't advertise rugby...


...because after all Toulouse without rugby would simply not be Toulouse.


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Old November 23rd, 2007, 06:11 PM   #2
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The skyscraper that was announced two weeks ago will be built on the site of the former Montaudran airfield. This airfield is itself quite famous because it was the starting point of the mythical Aéropostale line which transported airmail from Europe to South America in the pioneering years of aviation in the 1920s and early 1930s. The line became mythical due to the feats of pilots who crossed in hazardous conditions with the unsafe planes of the time first the Sahara Desert, then the Atlantic between Senegal and northern Brazil, and eventually the mighty Andes between Buenos Aires and Santiago de Chile. Tales of emergency landings in the Andes and in the Sahara, capture by desert tribes, lengthy stays in the outposts of South America, the first night flights (with no instruments!) in aviation history, have now become part of aviation legend, along with the names of pilots such as Mermoz who is still revered today in France and South America.







Brazilian poster highlighting the groundbreaking night flights. There were no night-flight instruments back then, so they could fly only by clear skies, navigating by the stars.


The story of the Aéropostale line and its heroes was made famous by some of its pilot-writers such as Saint-Exupéry, who was a regular figure at Montaudran airfield. Saint-Exupéry wrote Night Flight, recalling the experience of flying alone in the endless starry sky, and above all the world famous Little Prince.


Saint-Exupéry flying in a Latécoère 24 over Rio de Janeiro.


Montaudran airfield and the Latécoère aircraft factories in the 1920s.


Montaudran airfield was decommissioned a few years ago, and the city of Toulouse has decided to keep some buildings and transform them into a museum dedicated to the Aéropostale line and the pioneering days of aviation, while turning the rest of the airfield complex into a scientific campus. This campus, called Aerospace Campus, will become the largest concentration of aerospace researchers in Europe. Three famous aerospace engineering schools will be relocated there, the French National Office of Aerospatial Studies and Research (ONERA) will also be relocated there from Paris, and the main headquarters of Galileo (Europe's alternative to GPS) is scheduled to be built there (if Galileo finally gets going...). In total there will be 1,000 aerospace researchers on the Aerospace Campus, working on new materials for the airplanes of the future, working on electric planes (in preparation for the end of petrol), on new satellites and new space launch systems. These researchers will interact with researchers already working at the Toulouse Space Centre (Europe's largest space centre) and at the Toulouse scientific university which are both located just across the orbital motorway from Aerospace Campus. The avowed goal of authorities and business leaders is to turn Aerospace Campus into a European MIT. Clusters of high-tech companies will also be set up on the Aerospace Campus, with office buildings and "startup incubators" built on the campus, in order to benefit from the windfall of research discoveries.

Location of Montaudran, 5km (3 miles) to the southeast of Toulouse city center, very near the junction of the orbital motorway and the motorway linking Toulouse to the Mediterranean and Spain.


A closer view. Cité de l'air is the museum dedicated to the pioneering days of aviation, whereas Phase 1, ONERA, and Phase 2 is the Aerospace Campus proper. The Toulouse Space Centre and the Toulouse scientific university is just across the motorway to the south-west of Aerospace Campus.


The same from the air. Only a few planned buildings are shown.


Now coming to the skyscraper itself. According to some Toulouse forumers, the tower that was announced two weeks ago would be located in the Phase 1 area. The president of the Greater Toulouse council said that it would have at least 40 floors. It will be entirely an office tower. Journalists at the local Toulouse newspaper La Dépêche du Midi estimate the tower would be between 120-140m high, but French forumers think it will be more probably between 160-170m high due to current office ceiling height standards. This tower will offer a dramatic approach to Toulouse when coming from Spain and the Mediterranean on the motorway.

This is what a tower built in the Phase 1 area next to the orbital motorway would look like (vision by a Toulouse forumer).


Among the architect firms competing to build the tower there is Jacques Ferrier (who designed the Hypergreen Tower), FOA (Foreign Office Architects, headed by Alejandro Zaera from London who designed the passenger terminal in Yokohama's port), and Rem Koolhaas's OMA. The president of Greater Toulouse, who happens to be the former French foreign minister Philippe Douste-Blazy, said that the winning project will be revealed on December 15 this year. So stay tuned for the first renders. When these are revealed, we should know more about the actual height of the tower. This tower has the potential to become the tallest tower in France after Paris. At the moment the tallest tower after Paris is the Crédit Lyonnais Tower in Lyon which has 42 floors and whose structural height is 165m. So this Toulouse tower could potential outdo Lyon's Crédit Lyonnais Tower. We'll see.

According to the Toulouse forumers, some other towers could be proposed for Toulouse, in particular near Toulouse train station in the center of the city where the mayor wants to build a large business district, and on an island in the middle of the Garonne River, to the south of the city center, where the current Toulouse Exhibition Centre would be moved out and a business district built instead.

Due to a booming economy and population, Greater Toulouse is teeming with industrial, office and residential projects, such as the AéroConstellation industrial park and residential complex around the A380 assembly plant to the north-west of the city, or the Cancéropôle cancer research campus to the south-west of the city, so I encourage the other Toulouse forumers to post information about all these projects and developments in this thread.


Last edited by brisavoine; November 23rd, 2007 at 06:39 PM.
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 10:30 PM   #3
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Thanks for this nice thread Brisavoine !
The Mayor of Toulouse has just announced that it wants to build office towers near public transportation, but far from the residence.

The "président de la communauté d'agglomération" said the november 9th that Aerospace Campus will receive the first skyscraper of Toulouse with 40 levels.

Today, the highest building is about 60 meters and the recent construction does not exceed 40m.

By the way, it miss a real architectural identity in Toulouse which seeks joining majestically in the twenty-first century.

Can this tower be the begining of a new day ?
Answer half december :-) .
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Old November 24th, 2007, 05:05 PM   #4
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Thanks a lot Brisavoine for this presentation!

So many projects to present, we must organize a census of all projects to present them in this thread.

Juste to say without precision:
In Toulouse city-center : Borderouge North (105 000m² including 1 100 habitations + offices + commercial center), Aérospace Campus (190 000m² offices and space and aeronautical research centers + tower with Galileo head quarter offices + 1 500 habitations), Cancéropole (300 000m² with a new hospital), Cartoucherie (2 750 habitations + offices + commercial center), Niel (550 habitations + offices), Raynal/périole (estimation about 100 to 300 000m² offices in a new business district center maybe with towers near TGV central train station).
In suburb, Andromède ( 3 700 habitations + 130 000m² offices), Monges Croix du Sud (750 habitations), Balma-Gramont (400 000m² including 1 100 habitations + 200 000m² offices + commercial center) ... ...
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Old November 25th, 2007, 12:55 AM   #5
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That's what I call an informative post
I hope there will be more skyscrapers near this one in the future and not in the city center.
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Old November 25th, 2007, 01:47 AM   #6
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Interesting posts!
Can't wait to see what this tower will look like in Montaudran.
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Old December 1st, 2007, 07:14 PM   #7
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First I expose the project of research center of Cancéropole with 300 000m² SHON.
Just some views :

the map


Tertial center (administration, hotels, offices with 50 000m² will be built in 2012 in front of the orbital motorway. A new modern building with 2 mid-circle architecture.


Pierre Fabre laboratories build 41 407 m2 (research center and offices). Built in 2008.



A new cancer-research Hospital with 67 000m² built in 2012.





Last edited by urba31; December 2nd, 2007 at 02:07 PM.
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Old December 1st, 2007, 10:47 PM   #8
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Good for Toulouse.
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Old December 15th, 2007, 06:18 PM   #9
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Some views of the project (construction in 2009) of Borderouge north.
105 000m² constructions including schools, offices building on terminal underground station, commercial center, and 1100 habitations.
Higher building just 30m.



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Old December 15th, 2007, 06:23 PM   #10
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Job Garonne a new quarter in front of Garonna river in construction
650 habitations.








Last edited by urba31; December 16th, 2007 at 03:28 PM.
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Old December 15th, 2007, 06:27 PM   #11
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In front of the future aeronautical and space business district center Aérospace Campus (where will be the higher tower of the city in 2011 with 40 floors of offices : first image in january 2008), we can find a new quarter with 100 habitations and 100 000m².



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Old December 15th, 2007, 06:36 PM   #12
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Some examples inside Toulouse city centre

Project of Garonna's borders with bridges for bicycles and pedestrian roads






Project of extension high sciences school


Extension of Toulouse-Blagnac airport (4th terminal for 8.5millions passengers) in construction for 2009.


Image of greater Toulouse office in construction for 2009.
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Old December 15th, 2007, 06:40 PM   #13
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Project of AEROSCOPIA : aviation museum in Blagnac.





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Old December 15th, 2007, 06:46 PM   #14
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New office quarter in south-west of Toulouse (in front of Canceropole) with more than 100 000m² buildings

Some axamples of buildings in construction for 2009.










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Old December 16th, 2007, 03:33 PM   #15
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Hospitals :
With the new hospital (67 000m² in the cancéropole) you can see here

12 000m² Extension in construction for Rangueil's hospital



76 000m² extension in construction for Purpan's hospital
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Old December 16th, 2007, 03:40 PM   #16
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3 new quarters with habitations, offices :

Niel : 550 habitations and 20 000m² offices
new constructions in place of old military barracks


Malepère : 1300 habitations in the south-est of the city in direction of Mediterranean sea. Just maps for the moment.




Cartoucherie : 2800 habitation and 65 000m² offices.
first pictures.


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Old December 16th, 2007, 06:22 PM   #17
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Thanks for all of that urba31
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Old December 16th, 2007, 07:00 PM   #18
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Avec plaisir pierretoulouse!

Now we can see in west city-center a new quarter in construction with a total of 130 000m² including habitation, commercial center, offices, hotel, school.
Named Ponts Jumeaux in border of historical "canal du midi". Delivered in 2010.





A central large avenue with water and trees.


Along the canal du midi


Along the central large avenue


Some examples of habitation buildings will be built
in front of canal du midi


Crossing of the 2 central avenues


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Old December 17th, 2007, 07:53 AM   #19
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nice projects i heard the city had a very good economic status.. some bosnians live there aswell.
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Old December 17th, 2007, 02:10 PM   #20
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Thanks Evropa!
Many people in Toulouse come from all Europe for aeronautical and spatial enterprises and for building enterprises.
Now in the street we can hear all european voices and from eastern Europe too.

Next week-End I present other urban projects (some of them in suburb town of Balma and Blagnac).

For the office tower (40 floors) in Montaudran, we must wait January to know the project.
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