Maïmat Square (ppa + Emma Blanc Paysagiste for Promologis) Maïmat square, located in the northern neighbourhood of Muret (31 Toulouse), was designed on the model of the “Grands Ensembles” which were favoured in the 1960s. The impermeable ground surface is the domain of car parks and permanent traffic flows. Large, ribbon like buildings are placed around the outside of the site, enclosing it in on itself. At the heart of the complex, a shopping centre has been progressively underused in this impoverished neighbourhood. Committed to revitalizing the district, Promologis initiated an urban renewal project in close collaboration with the town of Muret and the project management team. Started in 2011, the site was the subject to an “opération tiroir”, consisting of both demolition and reconstruction to rehouse the local residents in situ. Phase 1 " Maïmat South " was delivered in 2014, while work on Phase 2 "Maïmat North" finished at the end of 2018. Today, the whole project is articulated around a large wooded area, within which eight residential blocks are located. A public square to the south accommodates an open air market and a row of shops that is situated at the foot of the shared ownership building. Formerly focused in on itself and totally impermeable, the site is now open and porous. Extending the landscape and urban project Phase 1 of the project, positively transformed the neighbourhood and the quality of life for the residents. Over 5,000 trees have been planted on this land reserve, creating a tree nursery in the heart of the city. The ambition of the second phase is to extend the urban and landscape project. The implantation of these two new buildings preserves the natural spaces in the urban fabric. Thus renewed, the district now has an empowering "inhabited image" that allows for the creation of living conditions, conducive to social diversity. Responding to the desire for a house "l'immeuble-villa" The architectural project seeks to respond to potential buyers "desire for a house", by proposing a close rapport with the outside and a strong link to nature. The dream image of a house is mainly associated with the desire to own a balcony, a garden or have a wide view of the sky and thereby create a strong link with nature. The superposition of dwellings, characterized by their double height loggia of planted balconies, gives the feeling of a "house" and creates the image of an "immeuble-villa ". The housing benefits from both the qualities of an apartment (practical, economical and comfortable) and the qualities of an individual house (interior-exterior continuity, generous and appropriable exterior space, strong link with nature ...). Garden balcony The garden balcony is an extension of the interior, an in-between space, inside and out, a way to be outside in a private space with a filtered connection to the public space. The housing’s surface area was compressed to meet social housing requirements, while the generous balcony area positively modifies the perception of the living space. Generously dimensioned (doubling the surface of the living room - kitchen spaces) and intimate but sufficiently open (double height), it allows the inhabitants to appropriate the space and provides a quality of usage similar to that of an individual house. Relation to the ground The ground floor is freed up from housing and forms common courtyards that create the interface or threshold between the public space and the buildings’ lobbies. Functional and easily appropriated, these areas provide a link and create a pleasant environment. The important question of “residentialisation” and more generally the relationship to the ground is addressed through the use of common courtyards and wooded islets. Formal affiliation The architectural project, with its radical "brutalism", is in keeping with the surrounding existing modern architecture of the 1960s. The project tries to clearly express its intentions and to confirm the importance it gives to the uses and quality of the housing, marking the site by the force of its presence. Construction rationale To achieve its stated ambitions, the project’s design was developed using the following basic principles: formal simplicity, constructive rationality and the valorisation of sequential elements. The materials, in coherence with the architectural project, are used simply to find an obvious implementation solution and with special attention paid to their durability over time.