The «Niel» public garden is the parade ground of the former «Caserne Niel» military barracks. The natural configuration in high
: Toulouse, France
: mICHELE&mIQUEL, architectes et paysagistes
: Michele Orliac, Miquel Batlle
: 20 000 sqm
: courtesy of the authors
The «Niel» public garden is the parade ground of the former «Caserne Niel» military barracks. The natural configuration in high relief overlooks the Garonne River. Archaeological works on this site recently discovered an Iron Age graveyard, a 2nd century craftsman area and an early roman era forum. For the next centuries it became a military stronghold, and has been an observation point for the 1814 Toulouse battle. Our project deals with the site’s history, and first with its geography. It highlights the promontory situation, taking granted that the archaeological remains presence forbids all action and plantation at the actual ground level. This topography of small raising hills laterally allows tree plantations and creates an oasis of greenery in the central area of the garden. It reinforces the central axial perspective from the former entrance symmetrical pavilions and the headquarters building at the other end. The new topography is a one undulating and shimmering mat, of changing texture from the most mineral to the most vegetal by both inserted areas. The mineral is red brick, as the whole Toulouse city, well‑known as the «Red City», is brick‑built.