Toulouse > cinema studios

Toulouse > cinema studios

The context for this project was relatively homogeneous, although a number of buildings added down the centuries disrupted its coherence. The architects chose to intervene with restraint, making maximum use of the potential of the existing constructions. The site was built for and by the military and is rich with a past in which inspiration for future architectural adventures may be found, adding further strata to the existing buildings. It is not by chance that cinema studios are so well suited to the redevelopment of disused airfields, as they offer vast aviation hangars and infrastructures like those to be found at Francazal. A functional slab was created onto which existing or future facilities could be grafted and positioned for maximum efficiency of layout. The impact obtained stems from the bonds established between the buildings and empty spaces available, while the overriding objective is functionality. In the areas devoted to professional usage, the site is ‘determined by ground level.’ There are therefore no pavements, edging, or other forms of barrier generally present in urban areas and hence offering greater freedom of movement and usage for those working there. The architects first identified the different green spaces worth retaining and isolated them for protection, then densifying their vegetation so that they might also serve as film locations. The public area is singled out by a new façade screening a car park. It replaces the existing wall and also voices the site’s new vocation. The idea was to introduce an alternating rhythm of vegetable and mineral elements, with the façade at times materializing and at others disappearing or fading away, thereby breaking free from strict linearity. To the rear, a dynamic public space unfolds, like a rambla with shops and facilities associated with the site’s main activity. The area linking the public and professional spaces was given special attention. It accommodates not only the water tower but also the monumental gateway to the studios, powerfully embodying the site’s identity in a design echoing the lines of the aviation hangars of yesteryear to the north and visible from across the site. The paved square is strewn with little lights and rises and falls in stepped fashion. It seems almost to undulate, before rising vertically to the luxury hotel reserved for VIPs in the professional sector. The hotel is the site’s culmination, its architecture presenting clear horizontal lines. As an eloquent symbol of the Studio’s presence, it lights up at night, powerfully voicing Francazal’s new character and specificity.
program
construction of a cinema pole for professionnals and the general public: studios, cinema complex, shops and car parks
project management
atelier d'architecture King Kong, Betem Ingénierie, Ginger BEFS
client: STF
location: Toulouse Francazal (31)
surface area: 25 000 m²
date:
images/photos: 2:pm
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