Paris, France | 2020 | Railway station
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A next-generation train station

  • Client: SNCF Gares & Connexions, Altarea Cogedim
  • Project management: Gares & Connexions, AREP, SLA, NOX, C4C, Jouin Manku
  • Progress: Ongoing project (the first phase was completed at the end of 2018) / Delivery: 2020
  • Area: 19,000sqm
  • Programme: 130 retail outlets, services, restaurants
Nearly fifty years after its construction, Paris-Montparnasse train station, a major Parisian terminus, is undergoing extensive modernization aimed at transforming it into a bright and accessible interchange hub that integrates seamlessly with the surroundings.
Remodelling the heart of the station to meet future needs

The opening of two major high-speed rail lines, Bretagne-Pays de Loire and Sud Europe Atlantique, led to a significant increase in passenger numbers at Paris-Montparnasse station in 2017. To cope with an additional 50 per cent rise in passenger numbers by 2030, a vast renovation project has been launched. It aims to improve services and accessibility as well as to provide an enhanced waiting experience by redesigning the horizontal and vertical circulations, reorganizing the existing retail outlets or creating new ones.
Overall, the project encompasses the renovation of 50,000 square metres of floor area.

The 1st renovated areas of Montparnasse station, the Maine hall (Dec. 2018) - © Photo Mathieu Lee Vigneau

A colourful gateway to the surroundings
In addition to the refurbishment of the station's interior, the 250-metre-long facade has been entirely renovated. In keeping with the first renovation, which was carried out in 1990 by architect Jean-Marie Duthilleul, co-founder of AREP, the project further opens the station to the city by adding brightness and transparency.

Creating unity and identity through facade cladding
The new façade improves the building's thermal performance and consists of a glass curtain wall protected by large slats made of anodized aluminium. These vertical louvres in the colours of the Vasarely frescoes, which cover the main station concourse, breathe new life into the façade and contribute to the identity of the new building. The large glazed facades allow views of the interior, while preserving the visual privacy of the office spaces through a denser array of louvres.

A complex project
Spread over several levels, Paris-Montparnasse station is integrated into a U-shaped area that encompasses different types of buildings and several condominiums: office high-rise, apartments, SNCF offices under renovation and underground car park facilities. The project is particularly complex and has required in-depth discussions with all the stakeholders, preliminary studies and an extremely precise phasing in order to ensure that the station remains open and functional during the works.