Planning study
Client: Plaisance-du-Touch Town Council / SEM de Colomiers
November 1991

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.

The Perspektikone enabled a "virtual visit" of the project site, via a series of 360° views. This development preceded the commercial availability of similar computer applications, such as QuickTimeVR.