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Montpellier Saint-Roch Station
Montpellier, France | 2014
Design Team: F. Bonnefille, J.M. Duthilleul, and E. Tricaud
Client: SNCF Gares & Connexions
Structural Engineers: MAP3
Landscape Architects: Michel Desvigne Paysagiste Sarl
Photographer: JE. Tricaud, M. Vigneau
Built in 1844 and boasting a listed neo-classical facade, Montpellier Saint-Roch Station now requires complete redevelopment. After successive extensions, additions and adaptations resulting from increased traffic, the station has lost much of its intelligibility and operational logic.
The complete redesign of this major public space in Montpellier will assert its vocation as a hub for the city’s transport and services and will enable it to open out to the surrounding districts. Openings will be made in the old foundation slab to create new access routes to the platforms with natural lighting and ventilation. Circulation and platform evacuation will thus be facilitated.
The new building, located on the slab, is composed of a large controlled-atmosphere concourse and lateral elements with planted roof terraces accommodating services and shops. 13.65 metres wide and 195 metres long, the central concourse is covered with panels made of EFTE, a translucent material which softens light, reflects clouds during the day and evokes a huge luminous ship at night. These panels act as semi-opaque filters to attenuate solar radiation in summer and minimise heat losses in winter. Suspended canisters complement the solar protection and also serve to absorb noise.
The pathways, shop terraces and outdoor waiting rooms are protected by pergolas. Passengers will be able to relax in this cool area in summer, under soft light filtered by the greenery, accompanied by the gentle sound of fountains and the scent of flowers (jasmine, honeysuckle and clematis).
As in the case of Strasbourg, Paris-Nord and Marseille Saint-Charles stations, heritage and contemporary architecture are combining to create an effective new hub in which priority is given to soft modes of transport.
The multimodal transport hub is part of a policy of redevelopment of the new Saint-Roch district which envisages the building of collective housing, offices and shops.