Dezeen Magazine

Kengo Kuma wins bid to design station for new Paris Metro line

Japanese firm Kengo Kuma & Associates has won a competition to design the Gare Saint-Denis Pleyel, one of three key stations that will be built to serve a new stretch of the Paris Metro.

The station by Kengo Kuma and Associates will be located in Saint-Denis, a suburb to the north of Paris, and is one of the main interchanges for an extension to the metro that will create a circuit around the capital.

Kuma's 45,000-square-metre station will be nine stories tall – with five levels above ground and four below – and will also house shops, a multimedia library and a business centre.

"The project is designed as a unique opportunity to open up the district by connecting the two sides of the city over a huge railway network of the Parisian North station," said Kengo Kuma and Associates. "It will enable the site and the city to increase its metropolitan scale significantly."

Saint-Denis Pleyel railway station by Kengo Kuma

Kuma's Gare Saint-Denis Pleyel will comprise wedge-shaped tiers constructed from glass and steel, which according to the architects pay homage to the rail tracks. Overground train tracks will run across the front of the building, while access to the metro station will be at basement level.

"The station becomes an extension of the public spaces on many levels," said the architects. "Multiple levels continue in spiral, so the station functions as a complex that brings in streets in vertical layers."

The building will be surrounded by a large pedestrianised plaza broken up by patches of planting. Sloping terraces will run around the exterior of the three upper stories, providing access to a roof garden.

"The station will be a new centre of the city, and its complementary programme will bring about a dynamic social and cultural dimension to the district of Pleyel," added the architects.

Saint-Denis Pleyel railway station by Kengo Kuma

The station is part of the Grand Paris Express project, which aims to build an automated metro ring-route around the outskirts of the city. Three branches from this route will serve developing neighbourhoods – Saint-Denis, Clichy-Montfermeil and Le Bourget.

A total of 72 new stations will be built, but each of the branches has a main station that has been designated as an "iconic" project, with the designs commissioned via international competitions.

Spanish architecture firm EMBT is designing the Clichy-Montfermeil station in collaboration with French architects and engineers Bordas + Peiro, while Brazilian-born Paris-based Elizabeth de Portzamparc will design the Le Bourget station.

Construction dates for the project have not been released, however in 2013 €300 million (£220 million) was invested in the first 20 miles of the Express network.

It is expected that 130 miles of track will be laid by 2030, connecting the new network to airports and major TGV high-speed train stations that link Paris to other regions of the country.

Images courtesy Kengo Kuma and Associates.

Project credits:
Architects: Kengo Kuma and Associates
Developer: Société du Grand Paris
Quantity Surveyor: LTA
Landscape design: AC&T Paysage
Lighting design: 8'18"
Acoustics: PEUTZ & Associés
Sustainibility: AIA Studio Environnement
Facade engineer: RFR
Security and fire consultant: VULCANE

Saint-Denis Pleyel railway station by Kengo Kuma
Section – click for larger image