The ZAC Saint-Martin Apartments in Toulouse, designed by Aldric Beckmann Architects, is a sustainable and innovative project that blends seamlessly with the surrounding greenery and the Concerted Urban Development Zone. The project creates a green oasis in the heart of the block with its green facades, landscaped gardens, bio-sourced materials, and sustainable construction methods. The plot plan’s innovative shape, vertical circulation concentration, and preservation and revamping of a preexisting dovecote further add to the project’s unique character. The project’s strategic location and gradual densification of design along the west-to-east direction create a great place to live and bind people through social activities on a larger scale, establishing an entirely new urban entity in the area.
ZAC Saint-Martin Apartments Technical Information
- Architects1-14: Aldric Beckmann Architects
- Location: Z.A.C Saint-Martin du Touch, Toulouse, France
- Clients: Éclisse Promotion
- Topics: Apartments, Sustainable Architecture
- Area: 4120 m²
- Project Year: 2021
- Photographs: © Laurent Gueneau
If architecture is the art of playing with constraints, then this block is a smart composition of nowadays’ stakes.
– Aldric Beckmann Architects
ZAC Saint-Martin Apartments Photographs
An Innovative and Sustainable Approach to Urban Development in Toulouse
Text by the Architects
The project’s location, as a gate to the future Ramassiers neighborhood to come, and in between two landscaped spaces, is the foundation of the design thinking process. If architecture is the art of playing with constraints, then this block is a smart composition of nowadays’ stakes.
Our goal is to create a landscaped object that is cohesive with the surrounding greenery, as well as existing patterns and the Concerted Urban Development Zone as a whole. A preexisting dovecote has been preserved and entirely revamped to develop common spaces around this. It can work as a central link to a particular historical memory.
The project settles itself around the following principles:
- Create a green Oasis through gardens forming the heart of the block and green facades.
- Making up an innovative shape for the plot plan:
The 63 dwellings of the project are shared between six independent plots that have various heights. The two buildings, which include the collective housings, form a build-up street edge. They offer single-family homes on top of their roof, resonating with the scale of the smaller plots of the backyard.
- Concentrate vertical circulation around one main exterior point:
Elevated pathways connect two main buildings, giving each apartment access from the elevator and the shared exterior staircase. We optimize the circulation area and liberate space on the ground to transform it into more common spaces to use. These saved spaces connect to the exterior of the housings. This move allows the project to reduce material consumption and frame it into controlled and reasonable costs.
- Use bio-sourced materials and sustainable construction methods that are mastered by local businesses:
The structure is based on honeycomb bricks. The low-cost and high performance offered by this method of construction help to manage the buildings to align to a certain sustainable quality – Qualitel BBC Effinergie, Patrimoine Habitat & Environnement.
- The challenge of working with a Concerted Urban Zone – the Saint Martin du Touch Zone’s case in the West of Toulouse – intersecting various densities
Ramassiers’ District is located close to economic hubs and business areas that try to supplement an already strong aviation activity. The urban zone is 160 acres and accessible from the Arc-en-Ciel ring road and line C. The project emulates a highly strategic location that is in the process of gaining attractive connectivity to the existing public network.
The West side of the project dialogue with the residential area composed of single-family homes. The program aims to align different situations (individual, medium, and collective dwellings) by gradually densifying the type of design along the west-to-east direction. The link between the two programmatic strips, residential and business areas, is made in the heart of the urban development zone, which is also the center of a large open park along the North-South axis. The continuity of a green landscape, the transversal relationship of the program, and neighborhood culture will deliver a great place to live and bind people through social activities on a larger scale.
The plot of the project, included in the extensive urban development zone, establishes an entirely new urban entity. The site is framed on the East by the central park and a dead-end road connecting the project to the local train station of the Ramassier. The North is where the future pedestrian path will extend, and a classified wood outlines the South of our plot.
ZAC Saint-Martin Apartments Plans
About Aldric Beckmann Architects
Aldric Beckmann Architects is an architectural firm based in Paris, France, specializing in sustainable and innovative design solutions. Led by architect Aldric Beckmann, the firm works on many projects, from private residences to large-scale urban developments, and focuses on creating functional, aesthetically pleasing, cohesive, and sustainable environments. The firm emphasizes the use of bio-sourced materials and sustainable construction methods and considers the surrounding context and landscape when designing each project.
- Lead Architects: Laura Ros
- Design Team: Ana Gutiérrez Díez, Mai Huong Nguyen, Juliette Chapelier
- Thermal Fluids Technical Consultant: Occinergy
- Structure Technical Consultant: 1G2L
- Roads and Utilities Technical Consultant: STDI
- Landscape: Atelier APUC
- Building Regulations Consultant: BTP Consultants
- Safety and Health Protection Coordinator: MC2 Ingénierie
- Land Surveyor: Cabinet Vailles
- Geotechnician: Terrefort
- Operational Project Management: EEC31
- Semi-public Company: Oppidea Toulouse Metropole
- Town Planner: Sathy Architecture Urbanisme
- City of Toulouse: General Management Delegate for Public Spaces / Delegation for Territorial Planning