Paris, France | 2014 | Public area
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The redevelopment of the forecourt: a waiting room

  • Client: City of Paris, SNCF Gares & Connexions
  • Project management: AREP Ville (from preliminary studies to handover to client)
  • Cost: 5,3 M€ (excl. tax), including 2,3 M€ (excl. tax) for public spaces and networks
  • Surface: 8 200 m²
  • Delivery: 2014 
By creating multiple access points to the large shopping hall level, the project called "Heart of the station" has modified the status of the forecourt, formerly seen as the background for taxis and deliveries.
Lending itself to window shopping, it has now become an “interior street” acting as a mirror to the new east-west thoroughfare on the ground level of the station. The street surrounding the hotel is the only one accessible to buses, delivery vehicles for the hotel and emergency vehicles.  Motorbikes and bicycles enjoy the benefit of parking in specific areas on the verge of the forecourt while parking areas are reserved for Parisian Vélib' system (self-service bike hire) on the Cour du Havre. Consistent with the style of Parisian footpaths, the paving is composed of granite slabs with parallel bands of different widths and undefined lengths. The main furniture and fixtures are laid out as urban lounges and consist of individual seats set around potted magnolias, providing passengers and local residents with a friendly and lively environment encouraging encounters. Floodlights on tall poles enhance the security on the forecourt. The “interior street”, punctuated by suspended lighting fixtures between the Southern facade and the hotel, benefits from central and uniform lighting. The architecture of the station's main facade is highlighted by spots set on the roof of the Concorde hotel.