Distinctive grocery at Toulouse university stands out against stark concrete forms
The national student services agency in France (CNOUS and CROUS) operates 642 university restaurants and cafeterias and several years ago began planning a major expansion including new eating facilities for students in France.
The main constituents of the plan were: encouraging healthier eating habits; less time waiting for food; more comfortable amenities; and multifunctional venues.
Following a tender, the team Matali Crasset / Praline /Terres Nuages was selected for to design a student grocery project for a school in Toulouse. After continuous exchange of ideas with CNOUS, the vibrantly-coloured Mini M Project was opened in September 2013.
Mini M is a modestly-sized and brightly-hued supermarket on the school campus, offering a range of amenities to students and staff. The outside of the grocery contrasts with the raw concrete architecture of the buildings around it, making it a focal point and drawing students inside.
The small market is toned in bright shades from blue to orange with octagonal windows and shelves, finished in an architectural language that is ‘accessible, jolly and contemporary’.
Well-rounded arches have been incorporated into the design, forming a pergola in chestnut brown. Internally, canary yellow tones and warm wooden crates have been used to create a cheery, welcoming feel.