Provincial Capitol Building Toulouse France

Architect

Associate architects Lighting design Client

Venturi Scott Brown & Associates

Hermet-Blanc-Lagausie-Momens-Atelier A4 and Anderson/Swartz Architects Cabinet Berthon

Conseil General de la Haute-Garonne, Toulouse, France

The capitol building in Toulouse was won in architectural competition, and consists of an administrative and legislative complex to include offices, the assembly chamber, public services and support spaces, with three levels of underground parking. The design challenge for the architects was to introduce this inherently large building complex into a small-

scale residential and commercial area of Toulouse, a challenge fully met by the design.

What is important in the context of this book however, is in the nature and solution to the daylighting, and no more sothan in the assembly chamber. For whilst the layout and design of the administative offices allows them to be lit by conventional windows, the

Site Plan Capitol Building Toulouse
The plan at first floor level

solution to the lighting of the assembly chamber called for an entirely different approach.

It was important that the interior of the hall should appear to be a legislative chamber, not an amphitheatre; and for this reason the hall should give the impression of being daylit, even if for reasons dictated by the use of electronic projection, the hall needed on occasions to be darkened.

The solution adopted is to allow controlled daylight to enter from clerestory windows around the top of the space, whilst the impression of daylight is gained from a series of false windows at a lower level. The clerestorey windows allowthe view of real clouds during the day and introduce daylight into the hall, controlled when needed by movable sun screens. The false windows give the impression of lightness, which is desirable for meetings held during the day, and can continue during the evening, but is controllable when needed for the electronic projection.

Behind the the false windows are gently lit acoustical walls with murals depicting Margritte-like clouds. The impression received by the combination of real and simulated daylight was modelled at the design stage by computer modelling,

The architects have described their daylight strategy as 'more intuitive' than by means of quantative analysis, but nevertheless, a good deal of schematic design was undertaken to investigate the possible advantages of brise coupe dans la Salle de l'Assemblée. ? ®

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Provincial Capitol Building, Toulouse, France 77

Detail through false windows

Acoustical 'cloud' wall. (See also the third plan above)

Landscape view of the meeting room

Interior of hall

Acoustical 'cloud' wall. (See also the third plan above)

soleil and other forms of sun control, before deciding on the nature of the clerestoreys. Winter and summer solstice diagrams were studied to maximize window size, whilst minimizing the harmful impact of direct daylight and sunlight from the clerestorys. Highly efficient glazing was specified to satisfy the clients' concerns about heat gain, whilst solar shades were added to eliminate glare.

Landscape view of the meeting room

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