Parc des Expositions by OMA


Parc des Expositions by OMA

OMA have won a competition to design a gateway building for Toulouse, France, with a 40,000 square metre column-free exhibition hall.

Parc des Expositions by OMA

The 660 metre-long Parc des Expositions (PEX) will host exhibitions, conferences and concerts.

Parc des Expositions by OMA

Located in a new innovation district in Toulouse, the centre will occupy part of a 2.8 kilometre-long development site.

Parc des Expositions by OMA

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Parc des Expositions by OMA

Images are by OMA.

Here are some more details from the architects:

OMA to build major convention centre in Toulouse, France


OMA has won the competition to design the new Parc des Expositions (PEX) in the innovation zone of Toulouse, southern France. PEX is conceived as a new gateway to the city and will host exhibitions, conferences, and concerts. The 338,000m2 project is designed to be a compact mini-city – an antidote to the sprawl of a standard exposition park, and a means to preserve the surrounding French countryside.

Surpassing three submissions by internationally-renowned competitors, the project, led by OMA’s director of French projects Clément Blanchet, will be completed by 2016. Blanchet commented: "This project is not only about architecture, but rather infrastructure. It's a condenser for diversity, a machine that can promote an infinite amount of possibilities."

Rather than spreading across the entire available site – a patchwork of open fields and sporadic developments – OMA chose to designate a strip of 2.8 kilometers long and 320 metre wide, crossed by the RD902 highway. The strip will act as a zone for future developments and link the river Garonne at one extreme and the Airbus A380 factory on the other. In this strip, PEX is a 660 metre long, 24 metre high structure, both monumental in its horizontal scale and subtle in its overall impact.

PEX consists of three parallel bands: the multi-function Event Hall, with a massive doorway allowing performances to spread outdoors; a 40,000m2 column-free Exhibition Hall; and, in the middle band, a 160,000m2 parking silo. Instead of banishing parking underground or pushing it to the periphery of the site, parking ramps are visible through glass partitions from inside the halls. The massive structure of PEX is a simple and flexible three-dimensional grid, providing a plug-in system for exhibitors and facilities.

In 2010 OMA also won the competition for a major new library, the Bibliothèque Multimédia à Vocation Régionale (BMVR), in Caen, France. The project will be OMA’s first public building in France.

  • Andreas

    Finally EXODUS will be realised! I suppose only the French are brave enough for such concepts. Cant' wait

    • Richard

      Yes, it does visually look like Exodus, but conceptually, probably very different. While there is a high level of conversation between the city and the 'prison' within the Exodus project, this project does not. I am not trying undermine either, just an observation. Very happy to see a parc project being realised by OMA after many failed attempts. Always been a fan of OMA works :)

  • pip

    probably more melun senart than exodus.

    also begin to see associations to a whole range of other projects. is it just me, or is there a lot of mies in this?

    fingers crossed that it goes ahead.

    • yuc

      Reminds me Mies' famous collage with an aircraft hangar.

  • Matt

    The masterplan is so naive… and from a firm which should know so much. Maybe their 'research' isn't really research.

    • felix

      I think it's just unfinished. They have a path, it goes through a gateway, is surrounded by green, and scattered with pavilions. Adding more detail at this stage may not be productive.

    • Paul

      how can you judge a full masterplan with a conceptual model?