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OMA completes MEETT Toulouse Exhibition and Convention Centre in France

France Architecture News - Sep 29, 2020 - 15:38   2117 views

OMA completes MEETT Toulouse Exhibition and Convention Centre in France

OMA with has completed the MEETT Exhibition and Convention Centre, which has officially been opened to the public in Toulouse, France outside of Paris. 

Led by Chris van Duijn, OMA Partner at OMA and Director of OMA projects in Asia, the 155,000-square-metre project incorporates exhibition halls, a convention centre, a multi-function event hall, a car park silo for 3,000 cars and a transportation hub with a new tram station.

OMA conceived the masterplan of MEETT as an active strip - "une bande active" - forming a physical border between urban development and countryside, with the ambition of becoming the central spine for an integrated development of the city and the countryside. 

OMA worked with Toulouse-based studios PPA Architectures and Taillandier Architectes Associés on the project. 

OMA completes MEETT Toulouse Exhibition and Convention Centre in France

Image © Philippe Ruault, courtesy of OMA

The program of the exhibition and convention centre is organized into three parallel bands: an approximately 700-m long exhibition hall to the north; a reception and circulation zone below a car park silo in the center; and a convention centre with a multi-function event hall to the south. 

Outdoor public spaces, which will become accessible not only for convention visitors but also for the general public, are woven in between the three expo buildings, creating a connection between the centre and the surrounding landscape.

The urban context as well as the program of MEETT require the project to function as a logistical machine. 

OMA completes MEETT Toulouse Exhibition and Convention Centre in France

Image © Philippe Ruault, courtesy of OMA

"MEETT is not an architectural intervention, but an urban machine. Both monumental in its scale and subtle in its overall impact, it will be a new gateway to Toulouse," stated in OMA's project description. 

"This project was an opportunity to develop an architectural design which relates to all scales," said OMA Partner, Chris van Duijn. 

"The masterplan is inspired by the efficiency of the surrounding infrastructure, the openness and horizontality of the rural occitanic landscape and the scale of the adjacent hangars, while each of the individual buildings is designed as a unique functional and flexible machine."

OMA completes MEETT Toulouse Exhibition and Convention Centre in France

Image © Philippe Ruault, courtesy of OMA

The Exhibition Hall provides a total of 40,000 square meters of presentation area, which can function either as one major exhibition space or be separated into 7 modular halls, separated by a mechanized curtain. Two elevated mezzanines at either end of the hall provide space for reception or VIP program, while overlooking the main spaces. 

MEETT is a project about the relationship interior-exterior, and the Exhibition Hall is no exception, as the translucent façade provides the giant hall with generous daylight.

OMA completes MEETT Toulouse Exhibition and Convention Centre in France

Image © Marco Cappelletti, courtesy of OMA

The entire masterplan –including all buildings– is based on a 3-meter grid, following the standard expo distribution, which permits to dissect the building in 3x3 meter cells as if it was a Tetris board, providing endless possibilities to split the use of the ground but also forming an underlying system for all architectural components.

At the center of the project, a 32,700 m2 reception area on the ground floor welcomes visitors into the exhibition halls, the exterior expo and the convention center. This is called the Rue Centrale, and functions, honoring its name, as a street – it is circulation area, information center, and public space all at once. Fully pedestrian, it can house from ticket offices to food stands.

OMA completes MEETT Toulouse Exhibition and Convention Centre in France

Image © Marco Cappelletti, courtesy of OMA

Elevated above the Rue Centrale and directly accessible from it is the carpark, a four-story elevated silo that sits right in the middle of the project. 

This building functions as a ceremonial entrance directly into the heart of MEETT, connected to the exhibition areas. It is an open building, to maximize the use of natural light and allow views into the expos from the parking lots.

OMA completes MEETT Toulouse Exhibition and Convention Centre in France

Image © Marco Cappelletti, courtesy of OMA

Southern strip – Events

The southern strip of MEETT consists of a multi-function Event Hall and a Convention Center combined in a single building also directly accessible from the Rue Centrale. The entire building can also be transformed into additional exhibition spaces on two levels.

The Event Hall and Convention Center building is designed as a machine. 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 completes MEETT Toulouse Exhibition and Convention Centre in France

Image © Marco Cappelletti, courtesy of OMA

A 13-m tall sliding façade on the eastern face of the event hall can be opened and allow interior events to continue on the exterior event square. 

In total the southern strip provides a total leasable area of 65,000 square meters inside and 40,000 square meters outside of the expo area.

OMA completes MEETT Toulouse Exhibition and Convention Centre in France

Image © Marco Cappelletti, courtesy of OMA

Navigation around MEETT is simple – the routes are intuitive, which combined with clear information signs throughout the complex makes it easy for visitors to find their way. Furthermore, the compactness of the expo reduces the distances that the public need to cover during their visit. 

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 facades facilitates distribution and management.

OMA completes MEETT Toulouse Exhibition and Convention Centre in France

Image © Marco Cappelletti, courtesy of OMA

MEETT also features a transportation hub with a tram station, a bus station, a taxi stop and a reception area for cyclists. This hub on the Eastern side of the expo has the potential to accommodate more infrastructure, anticipating the further urbanization of the area. 

Directly in front of the transportation hub, a 170m long plaza spans from East to the West, towards MEETT, and provides one single entrance route to MEETT, functioning as an open public area.

OMA completes MEETT Toulouse Exhibition and Convention Centre in France

Image © Marco Cappelletti, courtesy of OMA

OMA completes MEETT Toulouse Exhibition and Convention Centre in France

Image © Marco Cappelletti, courtesy of OMA

OMA completes MEETT Toulouse Exhibition and Convention Centre in France

Image © Marco Cappelletti, courtesy of OMA

OMA completes MEETT Toulouse Exhibition and Convention Centre in France

Image © Marco Cappelletti, courtesy of OMA

OMA completes MEETT Toulouse Exhibition and Convention Centre in France

Image © Marco Cappelletti, courtesy of OMA

OMA completes MEETT Toulouse Exhibition and Convention Centre in France

Image © Marco Cappelletti, courtesy of OMA

OMA completes MEETT Toulouse Exhibition and Convention Centre in France

Image © Marco Cappelletti, courtesy of OMA

OMA completes MEETT Toulouse Exhibition and Convention Centre in France

Image © Marco Cappelletti, courtesy of OMA

OMA completes MEETT Toulouse Exhibition and Convention Centre in France

Image © Marco Cappelletti, courtesy of OMA

OMA completes MEETT Toulouse Exhibition and Convention Centre in France

Image © Marco Cappelletti, courtesy of OMA

OMA completes MEETT Toulouse Exhibition and Convention Centre in France

Image © Marco Cappelletti, courtesy of OMA

OMA completes MEETT Toulouse Exhibition and Convention Centre in France

Site plan

OMA completes MEETT Toulouse Exhibition and Convention Centre in France

Hall des conventions - plans

OMA completes MEETT Toulouse Exhibition and Convention Centre in France

Hall des conventions - section and elevation

OMA completes MEETT Toulouse Exhibition and Convention Centre in France

Hall des expositions - logistique plan

OMA completes MEETT Toulouse Exhibition and Convention Centre in France

Hall des expositions-logistique section and elevation

OMA completes MEETT Toulouse Exhibition and Convention Centre in France

Parking and rue centrale - plans

OMA completes MEETT Toulouse Exhibition and Convention Centre in France

Parking and rue centrale - section and elevation

The project was led by OMA partner Chris van Duijn and project architect Gilles Guyot, and continues OMA’s long-standing involvement with public projects in France.

Project facts

Project: MEETT, Toulouse Exhibition and Congress Centre 

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

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

Associated designers: PPA Architectures \ Taillandier Architectes Associés

Landsape design: Batlle I Roig

Façades: Arcora

Lighting design: 8’18’’

Cost: DAL

Acoustics: Royal Haskoning DHV

Scenography: Ducks Scéno

Ergonomy: Abilis

Sustainability: Soconer

Signage: BASE design

Top image © Marco Cappelletti, courtesy of OMA

All drawings © OMA

> via OMA