The Riverside complex is a tertiary-sector area of offices and services covering 11,460 m2 on six levels built for COVIVIO. The whole of the surface area is designed to house headquarters, while preserving its essential divisible specificity.
The land is located along the Canal du Midi, featured on the UNESCO World Heritage List. This major thoroughfare is a green corridor going through Toulouse, which strongly marks any building bordering it. Constructing this «hollow tooth» provided an opportunity for reflection to overcome the conflict opposing canal-aligned buildings suggested by urban planning regulations with the tricky and sensitive insertion of the building in the canal context.
— To design a new place along this exceptional environment and anticipate the deep changes in Toulouse around the Canal du Midi and the Matabiau Station. — To place the building against the urban backdrop in a process of far-reaching change, adjusting proportions by alignments, recesses and a gradation of building heights to slot into and preserve its environment. — To propose geometrical efficacy to serve the programme and the users. To construct a rigorous and generous architecture that is sustainable and timeless with high environmental and energy characteristics, as well as obtain double certification - HQE Excellent and BREEAM Very Good.
Organising the programme
The programme is organised in three distinct and clearly identifiable parts — A base delimiting and organising specific programmes such as car-parking, shared facilities, halls, public-access buildings which prioritises accesses, service areas and connections. — A multi-configuration forecourt, (an entrance porch and its wide tiered staircase, a high forecourt, patios, a covered passageway, a terrace and an alleyway), crossing the base from one side to the other to interface with the Boulevard de la Marquette and accompany users at the heart of the programme and services. — Layout of more generic, current floors via two vertical cores, each one distributing three lots. Organisation in the form of two adjacent H-shaped tripods for flexibility in terms of layout, lot-linking and programme scalability.
The choice of different materials for the façade was intended to give the building a strong identity and singular presence, inscribing it in a specific period and context. The harmony of façades and materials gives the project an institutional and timeless character. The building’s expression attempts to convey the programme’s function simply, as well as the way it occupies space. The façades are largely open to the outside and project the user into its surroundings. This close relationship between user and urban environment is a way of contextualising the building. The whole of the base (first two levels) is treated in a unitary way, with a smooth, reflecting aspect, making it possible to accommodate its limits with public space. Less smooth, the current floors offer a different relationship with the environment.