TGV Station – Nîmes

The architectural project is based on the landscape components to create a continuity between the building and the mosaic of vegetation, thus creating a “garden-station”, a climatic and sensory haven of peace. Thanks to its transparency, the building fits harmoniously into its natural environment.

The Nîmes-Pont du Gard multimodal transport hub has been designed to withstand the mistral, blowing some days with gusts up to 110 km / h, with great flexibility. To refine the structures and limit the number of posts – 20 in total, in Vosges oak wood: 12-meter high and 60 cm in diameter at most – the roof has been designed to move with the wind, and will be able to move up to 8 cm laterally on each side.

The passenger hall, a 3000 sqm quadrilateral spread over three levels, is closed by glass walls on the north, south and southwest faces. The posts support the roof, designed as a shadehouse, and the canopy suspended from its metal frame. “The roof is waterproof and has a misting system, natural ventilation provided by access doors and opening frames; it protects from the sun and filters the light, which means that the station is frugal in energy consumption” explains AREP. For this purpose, the SNCF subsidiary has opted for fire-retardant bamboo impregnated in autoclave by Woodenha Industries, spread by dozens on the roof and on the glass facades.

More than just having made the bamboos fire-retardant, Woodenha has monitored the development of the construction system – the slatted bamboo modules – in order to reach Euroclass B required for ceiling installation. For the vertical parts outdoor, the system is Euroclass D; the material and the construction system were sufficient to obtain this performance. A great deal of collaborative development work between the FCBA, CSTB, Gares & Connexions, AREP, Les pépinières de la Bambouseraie d’Anduze and Woodenha Industries.

Project management: SNCF Réseau. Delegated project management: SNCF Gares & Connexions.

Project management and design: François Bonnefille, architect (SNCF Gares & Connexions), Gares & Connexions architectural workshop (AREP). BET: Setec (structure), Tess (facade coverage).

Bamboos: La Bambouseraie d’Anduze

Photos: © Julien Thomazo