Designer Marc Mimram wants “to create a garden station, a station of the senses that delights travellers and allows them to engage with the beauty of their surroundings.” The concourse design responds to the Mediterranean climate and will connect passengers with the rural landscape. It will also reduce dependence on car travel via a new tramline, bringing passengers from the center of Montpellier to the station door. The new transport node is one of two new interchanges on a new TGV high speed rail bypass between Nîmes and Montpellier. It will serve up to 3.5 million passengers a year by 2030, with services reducing the travel time between Paris and Barcelona.
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The station’s striking roof structure helps reduce the building’s carbon footprint. The canopy is composed of five 26-foot wide pleated shells, constructed from a fiber reinforced, ultra high performance concrete (UHPC). The high specification material combined with a pleated form allows the roof shells to be about 2-inches thick.
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Glass panes embedded directly into the concrete during casting allow dappled light to fall on the public spaces on the first floor. Trains and platforms are found hiding from view at ground level. Marc Mimram believes that “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.”
+ Marc Mimram
Photos via Marc Mimram