Paris-based architecture and engineering firm Marc Mimram has been appointed to design a new TGV station in Montpellier, France. To be completed in late 2017, the station is intended to serve up to 3.5 million passengers a year by 2030, connecting with the existing Perpignan to Barcelona line, ultimately reducing the travel time between Paris and Barcelona.
The station's striking roof structure is composed of five 8 metre wide pleated shells, made from a fibre reinforced, ultra high performance concrete (UHPC). The high performance concrete combined with the pleated form allows the shells to be just 5-6 centimetres thick, with glass panes embedded directly into the concrete during casting.
The concourse was designed to respond to Montpellier's Mediterranean climate and the rural setting of the site, located between central Montpellier and the airport. The holes punched in the shell roof create a dappled shade across the public spaces on the first floor, which bridges the trains and platforms at ground level below, hiding them out of sight. A new tramline will also bring passengers from the centre of Montpellier to the station, arriving at the station's main entrance on the upper floor.
"We want to create a garden station, a station of the senses that delights travellers and allows them to engage with the beauty of their surroundings," said Marc Mimram. "Our design addresses the emotions of meeting, waiting and departing and creates a bright and airy space that, even in the short time a person might spend in the station, will engage them with the nature of Montpellier."
LocationOdysseum, 34000 Montpellier, France
PhotographsCourtesy of Marc Mimram