ENABLING URBAN CONNECTIONS THROUGH INTERMODALITY
The former station building was located to the north of the rail tracks, turning its back on the city and principal passenger flows. The new building, situated to the south of the rail tracks, lies in the heart of the transport interchange hub, which encompasses the rail network, coach stations accommodating intercity and regional connections, park-and-ride facilities, and secure cycle parking facilities. This dramatic shift in the urban landscape has turned the station into a high-profile public facility that occupies a key city area. Opening both to the ocean and the city centre, the building constitutes a new gateway to the entire conurbation and beyond, to the Ile de Groix.
To the south, the interchange hub is comprised of the main passenger building, the new coach station, car park facilities and the new TER platform, which is directly connected to the station ― the nexus of the new neighbourhood.
To the north, the former station building made way for a small building accommodating a secondary access point, operational premises, and passenger services. The forecourt has been refurbished to accommodate taxi ranks and drop-off points, cycle parking facilities as well as a long-stay car park...
The large pedestrian bridge is a key element of the project: it links the two buildings and allows access to the platforms while ensuring the continuity of pedestrian movement between the north and south sides of the tracks and between the historic district of Kerentrech and the city centre. The station has the capacity to handle the 2.5 million travellers expected to pass through its doors with two additional high-speed trains (TGV) and a total of nine high-speed rail connections and 48 intercity connections every day.
THE PASSENGER BUILDING: AN IMPOSING PUBLIC BUILDING WITHIN THE CITY
The main building, which lies to the south of the rail tracks, combines two adjoining spaces accommodating rail services on the east side and tertiary industry facilities on the west side. The multifunctional programme has seamlessly brought together retail outlets on the ground floor, reception areas and inter-modal information mediums, ticketing facilities, postal services and SNCF offices, thus transforming the station into a veritable service hub incorporated into an imposing building.
The identity of the passenger building and the components of the interchange hub draw on the local architectural vocabulary, inspired both by sea and land elements.
THE PASSENGER BUILDING: FEATURING A TIMBER CONCOURSE
» The concourse
The new passenger building, vast timber shed next to which high-speed trains stop, echoes the fluid forms of ship hulls and revisits the shape of the tuna boats from the Île de Groix. The shed is extended by a canopy supported by the main, trident-like, structural element, whose implementation required bold initiatives. Its 12-metre high, Douglas-fir laminated timber frame supports the four half-portal frames and the roof topping the main entrance, which cantilevers over 20 metres to create a vast porch that becomes the very expression of a welcoming place and of Lorient’s inter-modal transport.
» The roof
The double-curved roof matches the supple form of the building and forms a fifth façade that can be seen from the tallest buildings - evoking lighthouses - of the Odyssée special planning district (ZAC).
» The façades
The south façade features timber panels that provide thermal insulation. The rainscreen cladding prevents water from penetrating into the wall construction. Its red tint, visible through the protective screen walls, evokes the range of colours used during Lorient’s Reconstruction era.
The ultra-high performance fibre-reinforced concrete (UHPFRC) screen wall gives the building consistency and importance and acts as a shade screen sheltering the openings accommodating the various elements of the building, such as the main hall, retail outlets, offices and services.
The north façade extends to shelter the entrance from the wind. Fully glazed, it allows sweeping views of the platforms and the trains from the concourse and of the district of Kerentrech from the station and the city centre. It expands towards the linear canopy of the coach station.
The east façade has been mainly designed to allow the station to remain inaccessible during the closing hours and to shelter users from bad weather. A simple glass screen supported by cable-stayed masts separates the concourse from the canopy.
» The pedestrian bridge
The 60-metre long and 7-metre wide pedestrian bridge consists of two spans rising seven metres above the tracks and allows both to cross over the tracks and to access the platforms, while providing a pedestrian connection between the city centre and the northern district of Kerentrech. The pedestrian bridge leads directly into the concourse, thus contributing to the station’s everyday use and function.
The timber superstructure of the spans is composed of 40-cm high beams completed by fine metal diagonal ties forming triangular units, a construction choice that results in a transparent and lightweight structure. The route provision is sheltered and legible and the view of both the station and the city promotes a reassuring environment for travellers.
» The forecourt
The north and south forecourts give prominence to soft modes of transport - pedestrian movements and bicycles - and accommodate drop-off points, taxi ranks and cycle parking facilities.
The new intercity coach station lies on one side of the passenger hall and unravels like a ribbon between the already existing coach station, located at Cours de Chazelles, and the canopy of the passenger building. It forms a gallery connecting coaches, buses and trains.
Since the creation of the company in 1997, our teams have been designing and building for the contemporary city, the nexus of mobility.
AREP Group brings together 900 people of about 30 nationalities involved in more than 800 projects both in France and abroad. Our teams combine various complementary disciplines in a spirit of innovation and attention to human needs: architects, city-planners, designers, engineers, economists, architectural programming consultants and construction operations managers.
We have developed a creative approach of public space so as to meet the needs of the urban population, thus forming a laboratory for ongoing research on the fast-changing urban environment at all levels, from entire metropolitan areas to individual buildings.
AREP is a wholly owned subsidiary of SNCF, the French national rail operator. The company’s turnover for 2017 was €104M.