Place Commune

Quartier Matabiau - Bonnefoy


Place Commune, An urban wasteland developed as a prefiguration of a future social innovation centre

« Place commune » is a 2 to 3 year transitory occupation project for an 800 m2 wasteland site in the heart of the Bonnefoy district, within the perimeter of the Grand Matabiau Quai d’Oc urban development project.

The aim of the project is to prefigure the installation of the Social Innovation Centre, which will include a community restaurant, an intergenerational residence, a reception and guidance service, a food distribution centre, a night shelter…

The project proposes a light, open-air test version of some of these functions, in particular the community restaurant. The space is organised around a double container with a fully-equipped kitchen and offers nearby relaxation areas under a large shaded pergola planted with trees, as well as a collective vegetable garden. Part of the site is left open for future development or events. The development of the plot is itself part of a wider transitory development project for the future public spaces and built-up areas of the Avenue de Lyon.

The facilities were designed by Bruit du frigo (general concept, buildings and furniture), Güller Güller architecture and urbanisme (coordination project), Phytolab and Atelier Gama (planting, vegetable garden) et agence ON (lighting), with Toulouse artist Arnaud Loumeau providing the colour design.

Some of the construction and planting work was carried out by Bruit du frigo, Phytolab and Atelier Gama as part of a participatory worksite in partnership with the associations Arpade (integration site) and Cocagne Alimen’Terre (Participatory cooking workshops).

« Place commune » is managed and run by a group of local stakeholders formed for the occasion: the bar Le Poinçonneur a hundred metres away, the association La Cloche (working for the inclusion of homeless people), and  the Palanca agency (a SCOP that supports social innovation projects).

The place is dedicated to a precarious public through collective sessions (activities, workshops), but everyone can come and enjoy the refreshment bar and restaurant, listen to music or see a show, in a welcoming and friendly setting.

The place’s social, cultural and festive programme is not set in stone, and will be developed collectively with local residents and users as it becomes more and more their own, and as they feel like it.


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At the crossroads of art, territories and populations, our approach aims to promote the transition to sustainable, shared and welcoming cities, by proposing alternative ways of imagining and building our living environment and by exploring new forms of public space.