La Cité, Toulouse, France Launch video

Taillandier Architectes Associes

Architect Agency
Taillander Architectes Associes

Metal Builder
Labastere 31

Product solutions used
GEODE façade, SUNEAL brise-soleil and SOLEAL doors and windows

Philippe Rol

“It has been decided to award the prize to this project because the structure of the existing building, is still quite visible, although giving it a new contemporary look. Even while retaining a reference to the building's previous use."

Jury comments

The 14,000 m² "La Cité" project is the result of the conversion of the former Latécoère warehouse into a place dedicated to collaborative and sustainable innovation. Built between 1917 and 1918, these warehouses bear witness of the aeronautic beginnings in Toulouse. They housed the first war planes, then commercial and airmail planes, before being used as warehouses. Despite their destruction in 1944 and successive rehabilitations, the site retains several remarkable structures, including the three industrial halls listed as historic monuments. The building is also listed as part of the intangible heritage of the industrial history of aeronautics in Toulouse.

"La Cité", designed by the Taillandier Architectes Associés in collaboration with P. Caillault, architect of the “Monuments Historiques”, revives the original spirit of the place. Three contiguous naves, with a total length of 120 m and a span of 25 m, make up the market building. According to archive photos, the main façades were described as a triptych of arched openings in each of the naves.

The new envelope is designed in this spirit with a contemporary reinterpretation. It is adorned with 2,400 m² of GEODE aluminium curtain walls, combined with aluminium blades, including 2,000 m² of SUNEAL sun shading. At the rear, 1100 m² of SUNEAL sun shading were custom designed from two assembled profiles, one 30 cm and one 10 cm, forming a hollow to reveal arches. The side façade alternates posts and openings (doors and windows) SOLEAL. These TECHNAL frames are also clad with vertical SUNEAL sun shading. They provide direct lighting in the south-west facing offices while maintaining the full/empty rhythm.

Above the entrance, these sun shading blades are horizontal to create a marquee that highlights the access to “La Cité”. The curtain walls are installed over a height of 15 m, without intermediate support. Their profiles are 100 mm wide in order to take up the required wind load.

All TECHNAL profiles are made of natural aluminium, echoing the aeronautical industry. The central hall offers a large open space dedicated to events and a palm grove in homage to the pioneers of the airmail who served distant lands. The two side aisles have a curved reinforced concrete frame. Wooden volumes develop under these frames to accommodate co-working spaces, meeting rooms, a 200-seat amphitheatre, a restaurant, a Fablab and an aviary for drones.