Architectural and technical innovation

Unveiled in February 2016, the building for the Cité Maraîchère was designed as part of a limited project management competition based on a sketch launched in 2015, in order to create an agricultural and multifunctional facility that is unique in France. The project of the team conformed by Ilimelgo, Secousses, Scoping, Etamine, Terreauciel and Land’act was selected.

> Construction principles

The specifications for the consultation required coherence between the ambition of functional efficiency in the service of responsible market gardening, the desire to create a place of exchange and social connection and the integration of the building into the neighborhood.

The essential needs met by the architecture of the building are as follows:

  • the supply of natural light to allow the best possible crop yield and reduce energy consumption.
  • solar and thermal protection.
  • the legibility of the access.

The project management team chose to spread the operating area over two wings: the doubling of the façades made it possible to adjust the heights to limit the shadows cast and thus promote the development of the crops.

Cité Maraîchère Perspective © ilimelgo – Secousses

> An innovative building

The layout, volumes and materials have been designed to maximize the supply of natural light. The interior, technical and storage facilities will provide optimal working conditions for the operation of the Cité Maraîchère.

To ensure ecological production, the project includes natural ventilation and lighting, rainwater recovery for watering and fine control of solar openings and shading, backed by a mini weather station to optimize settings.

In order to create a multifunctional space capable of simultaneously accommodating crops and the public, the architects designed two buildings in one: a part with a reinforced thermal envelope on the ground floor for the reception of the public, on which a six-story agricultural building is placed, reserved for the cultivation and offices.

Finally, in order to carry out a sustainable project, the designers of the project devised a reinforced envelope for better insulation of the building, mobile and thermal screens to limit heat loss in winter and to combat overheating in summer. The management and control of the technical installations will be optimized to allow fine regulation of irrigation. Lastly, the use of bio-sourced materials has been favored (use of cork for the external insulation of the concrete structure).


A green building:

  • use of bio-sourced materials
  • wood boiler for the public area
  • recovery of rainwater for watering
  • natural ventilation, no heating or artificial light in the market gardening areas to minimize energy consumption
  • mobile and thermal screens to limit heat loss at night in winter and to combat overheating in summer
  • intelligent bio-climatic management of crop areas (probes, sensors, piloting, monitoring and computer management of equipment, etc.)
  • mini weather station integrated into the building to adapt the settings.