Toulouse Le Mirail, France, Europe
Year1961latitude: 43° 34'
longitude: 1° 22'
Planning organization
Nationality initiator(s)
Designer(s) / Architect(s)Georges Candilis
Alexis Josic
Shadrach Woods
Design organizationCandilis-Josic-Woods
Inhabitants42,000 (2002)
Target population100,000
Town website
Town related links 73
Literature- G. Candilis, A. Josic, S. Woods, Toulouse Le Mirail - Geburt einer neuen Stadt, Krämer, Stuttgart 1975
- Tom Avermaete, Another Modern: The Post-War Architecture and Urbanism of Candilis-Josic-Woods, NAi Publishers, Rotterdam 2005

type of New Town: > scale of autonomy
New Town
Company Town
> client
Private Corporation
Public Corporation
> policy

source: Michelle Provoost (2009)

Toulouse-Le Mirail is located in Southern France and is the district of Toulouse closest to the Azote de France plant. Le Mirail was not one of the nine officially designated New Towns (five of which were built in the Paris area)) sponsored by the French government. It was an independent project by local officials with the socialist mayor Louis Bazerque in front. Bazerque arranged a competition for the design of the extension of Toulouse which was flooding from population growth. The Team 10 involved architects Candilis-Josic-Woods design presented a system of ring roads, boxy four-storey walk-up apartment buildings, and a hexagonal stalk structure of highrise budding in various directions, enabling the addition of new buildings or modification of the existing. The buildings encircled and shaped half open recreation spaces - corridors - that were equipped with activities like playgrounds and wading and swimming pools. Shops were in between. The intention was to encourage living and meeting on an urbanized, pedestrian scale. An extensive pedestrian circulation system crossing ramps, steps and different levels led to schools, stores and recreation. Roads circling around and under the pedestrian areas led to the city centre and hidden parking spaces. 25,000 dwellings - 75% of them social housing - were planned; only a smaller part realized, but this incorporating all the components of the original plan. Many apartments were given sliding and movable panels, allowing residents to redesign and change the function of their rooms. Today Le Mirail is densely populated by poor families. But whereas the economical capital among the inhabitants is low, the social capital is high: There is a multicultural resident composition, and the people are engaged in their local environment, arranging festivals and other collective activities.

source: Max Risselada, Dirk van den Heuvel, "Team 10 - in search of a Utopia of the present", NAi Publishers, Rotterdam 2005, Leonard Downie Jr. (, "Le Mirail: A Study In Concrete",

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