Reims, France | 2011 | Public area
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A layout of a new esplanade

  • Contracting owner: Reims Metropolitan Area
  • Project management: AREP Ville / J.M. Duthilleul, E. Tricaud; Michel Desvigne (landscaping)
  • Net surface area: 3 000 m²

Awards and prizes

  • 2015 - Prix National - Distinction: "Dans l’intervalle du centre-ville à la gare", in Bezannes
A hub of city life and exchange, the Esplanade Alfred Nobel designs as a metropolitan gateway, it is a linking space between the station and the city
 Developed around four key themes asserting the identity of the site: pedestrians, intermodality, landscaping, and cultural initiatives.
In designing this public space, the main focus has been on the pedestrian. The space given over to pedestrian use has been enlarged so that the overall layout is streamlined for movement from one place to another. Located close to businesses, the Esplanade becomes a landmark in itself, an urban centre providing services, and a place conducive to spending time. Economic activity is developing around the station, and a hotel (also designed by AREP) has been built.
The intermodality between TGV high-speed trains other modes of transport – regional trains, trams, buses, taxis – creates a veritable south gateway to the Reims metropolitan area, linking neighbouring districts with the old city. The esplanade has been designed with the prospect of even greater intermodality in the future.
The quality of the esplanade is heightened by the landscaping, which accompany the implementation of infrastructures. The plants and minerals used remind us that we are in the Champagne region, with vines planted on the banks and local materials – particularly light Comblanchien stone – used for the retaining walls, low walls and benches.
Local sculptor Christian Lapie has emphasized the role of the esplanade as a gateway to the the urban area by embellishing it with monumental figures. Carved from the trunks of Ardennes oak trees, his sculptures remind us of the presence of the neighbouring Ardennes forest and the cultural stature of the city of Reims.
This new south gateway to Reims positions the district around the station and mobilities, at the heart of the new Bezannes urban system.

Last news

Special mention in the National Awards for Place Alfred Nobel
AREP Ville received a special mention for the redevelopment of Place Alfred Nobel in Bezannes (51), on the occasion of the National Urban Design Awards The project was entitled "Filling the gap between the city-centre and the station". Supported by the Ministry of Housing, Local Government and Rural Affairs, the National Awards have been organized since 1996 by Séminaire Robert Auzelle (SRA), an organization promoting urban design. It is aimed both at professionals specializing in urban design and local authorities, who are able to put forward a project corresponding to this year's theme "Designing pleasing public spaces highlighted by light and arts".
Photo Brigitte BOUCAULT, Deputy Mayor of Bezannes and Christophe CHEVALLIER, Architect - Crédits: All rights reserved