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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

CROUS MINI M, a social neighbourhood grocery shop in Toulouse, France by Matali Crasset

September 29th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Matali Crasset

The brief set by the CNOUS was to create 3 fast food service concepts that could be implemented in the various CROUS. With this in mind, we wanted these concepts to reflect the basic culture and values of the CROUS: social networks, initiative, exchange and participation.

Image Courtesy © Matali Crasset

  • Architects: Matali Crasset
  • Project: CROUS MINI M, a social neighbourhood grocery shop
  • Location: Toulouse, France
  • Contractor: CROUS in Toulouse
  • Interior Design: matali crasset
  • Graphic Design: Praline, David Tanguy
  • Project Management: Terres Nuages, Dominique Serrell
  • Operational Architect: Charrière & Jacob Agency
  • Installation: Xylotech

Image Courtesy © Matali Crasset

The CROUS is an innovative organization that promotes the student values of hospitality, assistance, fairness, equality and service. We decided with the CNOUS to create one overall brand name, with three of four sub-brands, allowing for future evolution or adaptation. The brand had to promote both the idea of taking time to eat together, or meeting friends over a quick meal.

Image Courtesy © Matali Crasset

CROUS Mini R was created from this concept, and the three sub-brands of Mini R provide these different eating environments:

CROUS MINI R GLOBAL (general): offering general fast food in a friendly setting, where you can take your time with meals which you heat-up, sandwiches or quiches to eat in or take away, along with all the CROUS fast food range.

Image Courtesy © Matali Crasset

CROUS MINI R FRINGALE (snack): offering fast and informal food service where you can work and eat at the same time, pasta to heat-up, sandwiches, Panini or warm pies.

CROUS MINI R VITAL (healthy): offering a fast and fresh food service which is both good for you and your health, based on mixed salads, soups and fresh fruit.

All the Mini R are small-scale and local, using authentic, uncomplicated and simple marketing language, which promote the basic values of the CROUS.

Image Courtesy © Matali Crasset

The grocery shop project for Toulouse University is part of a larger initiative to rebrand the student food services available within university environments in France. This initiative has been undertaken by the CROUS, and the new services have been designed by matali crasset, alongside the graphic design agency Praline, assisted by Dominique Serrell from Terres Nuages
as project manager.

Image Courtesy © Matali Crasset

The research undertaken by this initiative gave rise to two concepts:

The Mini R where you can go eat
The Mini M to buy food

The Mini M Mini is the local small-scale grocery, providing a convenient service in student campuses which are located far from city-centers or shopping centers.

Image Courtesy © Matali Crasset

It boasts a wide selection of food products – fresh fruit, cooked meals, dinners to-go, canned foods, hygiene items, etc … The design of the Mini M stands out in contrast with the surrounding student housing architecture: colors radiate outwards, and the bold identity commands attention.

The Mini M borrows from the visual language of two of the Mini R restaurant concepts: MINI R Global for the grocery and MINI R Vital for the fresh market.

Image Courtesy © Matali Crasset

The interior of the Mini M is blue and white with octagonal shapes decorating and defining the food and shelving areas, making the whole accessible, warm and contemporary. The design of the small season market references the visual language of a tree, with rounded arches creating a brown pergola, lending it a welcoming feeling and creating a hub at the centre of the Mini M. The Mini M is the new vibrant and positive centre within the heart of the student campus.

CNOUS: national organization providing student bursaries, university halls of residence, and student restaurants

CROUS: regional organization providing student bursaries, university halls of residence, and student restaurants

Image Courtesy © Matali Crasset

Image Courtesy © Matali Crasset

Image Courtesy © Matali Crasset

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