A new administrative city for Toulouse in 2024

A page will turn. The rehabilitation of the Lemaresquier building (Guillaumet district) will begin in January 2023. On the program, the rehabilitation-construction of a new administrative center for the city of Toulouse. From September 2024, it will accommodate, over three hectares, more than 1,600 agents from twelve administrations, and will free up the current administrative city (two hectares of land in the city center), the renovation of which would have been too expensive, according to the Prefecture of Occitanie, which unveiled the new project.

It is part of the national program for the modernization of administrative cities, which concerns thirty-nine construction sites in France, for a total amount of one billion euros (adopted within the framework of the 2018 finance law). In Toulouse, the new city will be deployed over 30,000 m2 of floor space, for a budget of 90 million euros with a rehabilitation component (15,000 m2) and new construction (15,000 m2). The project will be led by Bourdarios (Vinci Group) with Architecture Studio and Letellier Architectes, as part of a global design and construction contract.

End of the legal battle

For several months, and following a competitive dialogue, the project for a new administrative city had been on hold. Eiffage Construction Midi-Pyrénées (second finisher) had indeed seized the administrative court of Toulouse for non-compliance of the contract and obtained in November 2021 a cancellation of the procedure. This ordinance was finally canceled on April 1, 2022 by the Council of State, which noted “no failure to respect the principles of freedom of access to public procurement, equal treatment of candidates and transparency of procedures”. “At the end of this competitive dialogue, the Bourdarios consortium is the one that best meets our requirements, and despite this jurisdictional phase, we are still aiming for delivery in 2024, after 18 months of work”, indicated Étienne Guyot, the prefect of Occitanie and Haute-Garonne, during the presentation.

A sober and scalable building

Located in an industrial wasteland in full reconversion, which prioritizes a large place for nature with a park of more than one hectare, soft mobility and bioclimatic constructions, the future administrative city will be made up of more than 62% low carbon concrete. . It will also be connected to the district’s biomass boiler room and equipped with 700 m2 of photovoltaic panels. “We wanted a new city that was integrated and open to the district, but also respectful of Lemaresquier history, which will be completely restored”, describes Christophe Escassut, the project manager for the new administrative city at the prefecture. “The project will be built around shared spaces that are likely to evolve according to the needs of agents in the coming years. »

To respond to this order, the two architects therefore shared the task. Axel Letellier is in charge of renovating the 15,000 m2 of the art deco Lemaresquier building to an identical design and Marc Lehmann is building two compact and sober plots (R+4) (in low-carbon concrete) of an additional 15,000 m2 which will respond to the existing one. In the heart of the city, an old courtyard of 2500 m2 will be transformed into a garden by the landscape gardener Stéphanie Bordone.

As for the future of the current administrative city, it is not settled. “Reflection is open with the city and private partners. Part will be sold, another may be rented, but it will be a good thing for the State to upgrade this current site, which is part of the financial operation,” indicated Etienne Guyot.

Beatrice Girard

In the photos: Projections of the future administrative city, which should see the light of day in mid-2024. Credit: Architecte Architecture Studio – LetellierArchitectes.