Urbicus: As a real hub for the western Greater Paris region, Rueil station suffered from a lack of clear layout: RER users had to navigate through bus corridors and a large number of parked bikes with the various traffic flows colliding in a chaotic setting. The station needed to be redesigned to clarify travel and better coordinate the multimodality. Les Ateliers Lion and Etienne Lénack came up with the project’s masterplan and designed the entire site’s architecture. The Urbicus agency supported architects in designing external public spaces and designed all the plant surfaces.
The site underwent an ambitious redevelopment project with the creation of an underground car park with 200 spaces, a bus station for city buses with 18 berths, a new hall for the RER station, the installation of 450 bike spaces and the re-planning of an underground shopping centre. The space was designed to provide comfort, security and user facilities. It is now clear and logical and uses simple materials: pale concrete on the platforms, large natural stone (granite) slabs on the pedestrian floors and white metal for the canopies.
On top of functional improvements, the designers wanted to create the sense of a station-garden that could share in the area’s energy by incorporating shops and cafés. The idea was to provide dense vegetation in this business area where built density is important. Abundant vegetation grew on the roofs of the new canopies. Tall trees (Scots pines and tulip trees) were planted to create a canopy. A square was even built in the tight space. Pale cladding and the presence of trees and living roofs reduce the urban heat island effect. The abundance of plants helps escape the functional image of a bus station. The site has blossomed from a mundane multimodal transport site to a real slice of urban life.
Location: Rueil-Malmaison, France
Area: 1,5 ha
Completion date: 2016
Client: SPLA Rueil Aménagement
Landscape Design: URBICUS Ltd. / Jean-Marc Gaulier
Project managers : Solène Quilin
Photographer : Charles Delcourt