The town of Plaisance-du-Touch is a suburb
of Toulouse, an urban area undergoing rapid expansion, due to the aeronautical
industry. Thus, over the past few decades, the small villages surrounding
Toulouse have been transformed into large, predominantly residential
towns. A permanent tension exists between the pressure for property
development - manifested through the creation of an extended spread
of housing estates - and the preservation of urban identity, custodian
of the collective soul of the town.
This project was centred on the entrance into Plaisance-du-Touch, coming
from Toulouse. At the time, it constituted a quarter undergoing sustained
development, with a mix of individual housing and apartment blocks, and
containing a small area of shops. The objective was to propose a general
planning scheme, with the careful design of a town square at the entrance
that should be coherent with and respectful of the identity of Plaisance,
a former rural bastide town orientated towards the green belt running
along the Touch River.
The work took into parallel consideration three inseperable components:
the main road, the building layout and the central square. This method,
where built facade and square form negatives of the other, allows for
a complementary view regardful of both the public and private domains,
which so often are in a state of conflict.
A computer tool, the Perspektikone, was developed at the same time,
serving the visualisation of the project.