Vitry-sue-Seine, France | 2017 | Rail Control Centre
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A next-generation switching station

  • Client: SNCF Réseau
  • Project management: SNCF Gares & Connexions
  • Studies: AREP / P. Maugard, B. Nguyen (architects)
  • Gross floor area: 900 m²
  • Construction cost: €21 000 000
The project's biggest challenge was the tight timeline: the Ardoines computer-based interlocking centre had to be reconstructed within a very short period of time because of its high importance for the rail traffic in south Paris.
A fast and complex reconstruction
After the 2014 fire, a large part of the RER line C rolling stock maintenance had been taking place in seven different sites spread across the Paris region. This situation affected the number of trains operating on this already congested line. Although this type of project generally takes five years to complete, it took only two years to rebuild the Ardoines centre. The site continued to operate throughout the construction works. AREP was able to deliver on time by implementing the efficient phasing and planning of the works and tasks.

An example of minimalist and functional architecture
The general layout of the building aims to reduce its footprint while ensuring its seamless integration with the existing constructions.
The base of the building accommodates workshops and operational premises. It is the only "static" part of the building, expressed with a stone façade that contrasts the "dynamic" metal cladding of the projecting upper storeys.
The rhythm and arrangement of the openings on the façade highlight the functions of the building: unlike the south façade, which shelters technical premises requiring less natural light, the north façade features more openings to let light flow freely into the offices and locker rooms. The colour of the iridescent cladding varies from metallic light gray to pearly light beige depending on the viewing point and amount of sunshine.

Key data
The Ardoines traincare centre (Technicentre) fulfils three functions:
- storage tracks,
- maintenance of the 150 trains of RER C line (a Paris region suburban line),
- interior and exterior cleaning of the trains.