Photo credit (banner): Yann Audic / SNCF

Lorient station sets sail

Lorient’s new Bretagne Sud railway station features stunning architecture inspired by the city’s seafaring history. Wanderlust guaranteed.

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New line, new station

The strikingly landscaped forecourt was inaugurated in September 2018. It is home to a wide range of mobilities, positioning the new station as a gateway to the Lorient Odyssée neighbourhood, an ambitious 15-ha urban renewal project with a mix of retail space, offices and housing.

Extending high-speed rail service to Brittany has had a powerful impact on this port city in the Morbihan département. Now just three hours from Paris by TGV inOUI, Lorient has also seen an increase in TER regional rail traffic.

To serve these new passengers and position the station as a major public space, the entire site was completely redesigned, creating an architectural breakthrough with roots deep in the city’s maritime history.

Over 2 million passengers expected in 2020

Inspired by a sailing boat

Designers chose the thonier, a fishing boat typical of the nearby Ile de Groix, as the model for the passenger terminal in this city of five ports. The all-wood building soars to 12 meters and is connected to the station’s platforms by a large elevated bridge linking Lorient’s centre to the Kerentrech district.

  • The Lorient station has been completely redesigned.

  • The new forecourt was inaugurated in September 2018.

  • The main structure consists of 23 wooden portal frame components ranging from 12 to 19 meters tall.

  • The Lorient station serves Paris, Rennes, Quimper and other destinations, as well as Brittany’s regional network.

  • The south façade of the passenger terminal is shaded by screens, made of concrete in tribute to the city’s stone and concrete architecture.

  • The concourses and bridges have wood floors reminiscent of a ship’s deck.

  • The new station is just three hours from Paris.

  • Glass walls provide light and transparency, making the building safer and more comfortable.

  • The redesigned station can now serve 2.5 million passengers a year.

  • The primary building material is wood—a sustainable, eco-responsible choice that adds warmth and recalls Lorient’s maritime history.

  • The north façade is all glass, giving travellers a panoramic view of the city.

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A place for everyone

A landscaper helped architects design the station’s 6,000-sq m forecourt to evoke far-off destinations, with five flowerbeds, exotic plants and wave-shaped pavers. Named after French president François Mitterrand, it acts as a hub for a wide range of mobilities, providing access to trains, buses, coaches, cars and bicycles. It also includes a hotel, a media centre and a wealth of shops to attract both travellers and locals.

Award-winning design

In 2018 Lorient Bretagne Sud station won a number of awards for its revolutionary architecture, designed by SNCF subsidiaries Gares & Connexions and Arep. These include:

  • Second Award, 2018 Los Angeles Design Awards
  • 2018 Trophées de la Construction, award for public buildings (Prix Construction-ERP)
  • The Plan Award 2018

Video : La gare de Lorient, comme un navire