OMA designs toulouse's new exhibition and convention center as an 'urban machine'

OMA designs toulouse's new exhibition and convention center as an 'urban machine'

OMA has completed a new exhibition and convention center in toulouse — a city in southwest france. the project, led by partners chris van duijn, ellen van loon, and rem koolhaas, is located outside of the city center — connecting urbanized plots to the south with an agricultural landscape to the north. named ‘MEETT’, the 155,000 square meter (1,668,406 sqf) development is conceived as an ‘active strip’ that has been divided into three parallel bands: a row of modular exhibition halls to the north; a convention center and multi-function event hall to the south; and a reception area at the center.

OMA MEETT toulouse
all images by marco cappelletti, courtesy of OMA (unless otherwise stated)

 

 

serving as lead architect, OMA — working alongside associate architects taillandier architectes associés and PPA architectures — describes the project as an ‘urban machine’. measuring nearly 700 meters (2,297 ft) in length, the exhibition building to the north can function as one major exhibition space or be separated into seven modular halls thanks to a mechanized curtain. ‘the building is composed with a limited repertoire of functional elements — a series of black boxes (both on the ground and elevated in the air), white-colored steel profiles for the structure and a polycarbonate skin for the façade,’ explain the architects.

OMA MEETT toulouse

 

 

at the center of the project, a reception area on the ground floor welcomes visitors into the exhibition halls, the exterior expo, and the convention center. appropriately titled the rue centrale, the space functions as a fully pedestrian street containing everything from ticket offices to food stands. meanwhile, connected to the exhibition areas, a four-story car park is elevated above the street. ‘instead of banishing parking underground or pushing it to the periphery of the site, where it has no relationship with the surrounding landscape, we placed the parking at the center of the project, covering a spine where amenities and access to the hall are concentrated,’ OMA continues.

OMA MEETT toulouse

 

 

directly accessible from the rue centrale, the southern strip of MEETT consists of a multi-function event hall and a convention center combined in a single building. the entire structure can also be transformed into additional exhibition spaces on two levels. a 13-meter-tall (43 ft) sliding façade on the eastern face of the event hall can be opened and allow interior events to continue on the exterior event square.

OMA MEETT toulouse

 

 

‘the event hall and convention center building is designed as a machine,’ explains the design team. ‘a system of moveable vertical shutters and horizontal partitions allows it to transform in few minutes into a large number of configurations, from small meeting rooms in the upper floors of the convention center to an open plan layout bathing in natural light on the ground floor.’

OMA MEETT toulouse

 

 

throughout the project, circulation routes are intuitive with clear information signs. the entire area is accessible to heavy vehicles, with a separate entry and exit point, and an internal road surrounding the north, west, and south façades facilitates distribution and management. MEETT also features a transportation hub with tram and bus stations, a taxi stop, and a reception area for cyclists.

OMA MEETT toulouse

OMA MEETT toulouse

OMA-MEETT-toulouse-exhibition-convention-centre-designboom-1800b

OMA designs toulouse's new exhibition and convention center as an 'urban machine'
image by philippe ruault, courtesy of OMA

OMA designs toulouse's new exhibition and convention center as an 'urban machine'
image by philippe ruault, courtesy of OMA

OMA designs toulouse's new exhibition and convention center as an 'urban machine'

OMA designs toulouse's new exhibition and convention center as an 'urban machine'

 

 

project info:

 

name: MEETT toulouse exhibition and convention centre
architect: OMA / chris van duijn, ellen van loon, rem koolhaas
status: completed, open 26 september 2020
owner: toulouse métropole
user: GL EVENT
client: europolia
contributors: toulouse métropole (199M€), région occitanie (45M€), conseil départementale haute-garonne (45M€), tisséo collectivité (22M€)

 

address: MEETT, chemin de l’enseigure, 31 840 aussonne, france
program: exhibition center and congress center, parking silo, road infrastructure, tram track and tram station

 

partner: chris van duijn, ellen van loon, rem koolhaas
project manager: gilles guyot
contract manager: françois riollot

 

competition —
team: sara bilge, clément blanchet, sandra bsat, savinien caracostea-balan, marek chytil, kaveh dabiri, lionel debs, daniel dobson, marcela ferreira, nathan friedman, didzis jaunzems, anthony joyeux, matthew jull, filippo nanni, elina spruza, wes thomas, haohao zhu

 

schematic design —
project architect: clement blanchet, marcus franck, gilles guyot
team: polly auyeung, juhwa baek, henri bardsley, eugenio cardoso, lourdes carretero botran, jan de ruyver, katerina examiliotou, peter feldmann, olivia fontanetti, stavros gargaretas, matiss groskaufmanis, michalis hadjistyllis, chris hayman, alexander joksimovic, eunjin kang, nicolas lee, laurence lumley, lawrence-olivier mahadoo, elida mosquera martinez, jamies oliver, pawel panfiluk, victor pricop, emmanouil rentopoulos, erik revelle, mario rodriguez, claudio saccucci, thomas shadbolt, michael shafir, saul smeding, lukasz skalec, adrian subagyo, kyung su jung, chong ying pai

 

design development —
project architect: gilles guyot
team: maria aller rey, anton anikeev, adrian auth, polly auyeung, juhwa baek, henri bardsley, sara bilge, sandra bsat, denis bondar, axel burvall, eugenio cardoso, lourdes carretero botran, solène de bouteiller, jan de ruyver, francois ducatez, peter feldmann, olivia fontanetti, stavros gargaretas, matiss groskaufmanis, michalis hadjistyllis, chris hayman, alexander joksimovic, eunjin kang, henri kapynen, agnieszka kwiecien, nicolas lee, laurence lumley, lawrence-olivier mahadoo, elida mosquera martinez, thibault nugue, pawel panfiluk, victor pricop, emmanouil rentopoulos, erik revelle, mario rodriguez, claudio saccucci, thomas shadbolt, michael shafir, hélène sicsic, saul smeding, lukasz skalec, adrian subagyo, kyung su jung, chong ying pai

 

tender & construction documents (main project) —
project architect: gilles guyot
team: maria aller rey, adrian auth, denis bondar, kimiko bonneau, axel burvall, jorge campos, lourdes carretero botran, solène de bouteiller, jan de ruyver, francois ducatez, stavros gargaretas, matiss groskaufmanis, michalis hadjistyllis, chris hayman, alexander joksimovic, eunjin kang, henri kapynen, agnieszka kwiecien, sara martinez, elida mosquera martinez, thibault nugue, pawel panfiluk, clement perisse, jerome picard, mario rodriguez, hélène sicsic, jorge simelio, lukasz skalec, nicola vitale

 

construction (project followup) —
project architect: gilles guyot
team: kimiko bonneau, clara cahez, my-linh dinh, camille filbien, pierre levesque, hélène sicsic, nicola vitale

 

collaborators —
engineering: ingerop – structures, MEP, building services, fire, traffic, sustainability, tram, road infrastructure
associate architects: PPA architectures \ taillandier architectes associés
landscape design: batlle i roig
facades: arcora
lighting design: 8’18’’
cost: DAL
acoustics: royal haskoning dhv
scenography: ducks scéno
ergonomy: abilis
sustainability: soconer
signage: BASE design

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