Le Mans, France | 2009 | Railway station
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A refitting of the station and its square 

  • Client for the station: SNCF
  • Client for the forecourt and car park: Le Mans Metropolitan Authority
  • Prime Contractor for the station: SNCF Gares & Connexions
  • Prime Contractor for the forecourt and car park: Contracting consortium: AREP, ARCHITOUR/Philippe Duvergey, THALES, CMB
  • Delivrey: forecourt 2007 / bus station 2009

Awards and prizes

  • 2009 - Le Palmarès des Mobilités Ville Rail & Transport
The refurbishment of the Le Mans mainline railway station is part of a vast restructuring plan for the multimodal transport hub and its immediate surroundings.
Coinciding with the completion of the new tram line, the station square is to be completely redesigned, with the creation of short-term car parking facilities and a new layout for the bus station. The interconnection of all the transport modes will be achieved by creating a large arcade build up against the station. As the core of the project, it will also constitute the new façade for the building. Its contemporary architecture reflects the dynamic image of the redeveloped urban space. The historic façade of the station will show through the glazed envelope, which corresponds to the original grid and which it highlights in the interior space of the arcade.  Along the length of the passenger building the arcade is closed-in so as to enlarge the area of the station concourse. At the east and west ends, the arcade transforms into a shelter to protect passengers from wind and rain. On either side of the central esplanade, a sloping surface takes pedestrians and cars on a gentle incline from the lower esplanade (the level of the underpass beneath the platforms and the passenger drop-off point) to the level of the upper esplanade (street and station concourse level). The station’s interior has been completely remodelled and enlarged. The creation of a staircase and gangways ensures that the accessways are immediately clear and guarantees smooth passenger flows. By relating the different levels to each other, users can see the newly created concourse from the level of the underpass beneath the platforms. Particular care has been taken in improving comfort and the general atmosphere. The façades of the existing building have been renovated and the work carried out inside the station is respectful of its volumes and character. The lighting and the public address system have been completely renewed and natural lighting levels have been increased inside the building. The extension to the passenger building at the east end restores the original symmetry of the whole. Designed to re-house SNCF services, the new wing is on the same scale as the existing building. The ridge of the roof aligns with that of the existing roof structure, and its arcades are spaced as in the original façade. The materials used are also derived from the existing range: zinc on the roof, and stone for the façade.