tetrarc architectes transforms transit hub PEM saint-nazaire
tetrarc architectes transforms transit hub PEM saint-nazaire tetrarc architectes transforms transit hub PEM saint-nazaire
jun 20, 2013

tetrarc architectes transforms transit hub PEM saint-nazaire

tetrarc architectes transforms transit hub ‘P.E.M saint-nazaire’
photo © stéphane chalmeau
all images courtesy of tetrarc architectes




nantes-based architecture firm tetrarc worked with the local town council, the SNCF (french rail operator) and RFF (french rail network) to design transport hub ‘pôle d’échange multimodal (P.E.M) in saint-nazaire’, a growing city on france’s atlantic coast. the intervention completely reorganizes the traffic flow and relocates the bus station away from the main buildings. exiting the train station onto the large square, a large yellow awning clearly identifes the next destination. the waiting platform is divided into two such that busses traveling in opposite directions have their own lanes, an organizing gesture which also services the growing need of the community for greater public transport service. the relocation of this area away from the existing buildings relieves the need to cross traffic to enter or exit the terminal; thus improving flow, and reducing travel time. the plaza between the terminals is defined by a carpet of variegated concrete slabs. street furniture invites passersby to stop and enjoy the space, but is organized so as not to hinder those who wish to continue directly on their way. to increase passenger comfort while waiting, glass enclosures supplement the new canopies. improved signage, and monitors providing information about arrivals and departures also aids the users. for those who transition on two wheels, there is a bike rack in the middle of the square, constructed in the language of the bus stop.

the rapid growth of the area requires a greater frequency of public transport
photo © stéphane chalmeau




departing from P.E.M. saint-nazaire, avenue de la république becomes four-lanes with two flanking pedestrian and bicycle paths framed in metal, bridging over the train tracks, leading to the town center. the materiality reflects the local steel construction and ship-building industry. high railings are required at the railroad crossing, and enclosing panels protect pedestrians from weather. this urban gateway matches the palette of its context, and both physically and visually connects this transportation hub to the city.

glass enclosures and extensive canopies protect travelers from the elements
photo © stéphane chalmeau

the new awning gives prominence to the bus stop that was once lost in the open plaza
photo © stéphane chalmeau

 the bright color makes the bus station easy to locate
photo © stéphane chalmeau

bike shelter beyond is built in the shape of an engine shed, with a roof to match the main construction
photo © stéphane chalmeau

two platforms serve on direction of travel each increasing service capacity and improving traffic flow
photo © stéphane chalmeau

new ticket machines and way finding signs are integral for ease of use
photo © stéphane chalmeau

a metal bridge with covered pedestrian and bicycle ways replaces the former concrete structure
photo © stéphane chalmeau

the silhouette of the pedestrian and bicycle path resemble those of oceanliners being constructed nearby
photo © stéphane chalmeau

to ease traffic flow, busses now have their own lane on the bridge
photo © stéphane chalmeau

high railings are required due to the railway below
photo © stéphane chalmeau

the multimodal transportation hub is multi-level
photo © stéphane chalmeau

the bridge at night
photo © stéphane chalmeau





project info:


project name: pôle d’échange multimodal (P.E.M) de saint-nazaire
location: saint nazaire (44)
client: carene
architect: tetrarc architecte, urban planner and landscape
vrd engineer: sce
program: building a multimodal transport hub opposite the train station; creating a brt line and construction of a bridge over the railroad tracks
area: 50.5 hectares
cost: 13 m €
construction dates: 2009-2012

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