The city of Nantes—on the historic Loire River not far from the Atlantic Coast—is already home to the sixth-busiest station in France1. With annual passenger traffic expected to double to 25 million by 2030, the experts at SNCF Gares & Connexions partnered with architect Rudy Ricciotti to give the station a complete transformation.
The north and south ends of the complex, previously joined by an underground passage, are now connected by a 160-m glass-clad mezzanine that spans the tracks. Gares & Connexions worked closely with SNCF Réseau on this three-year, €58 million2 project, delivering on schedule despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
Gare de Nantes : le film inaugural
A destination in itself
The 4,000-sq m mezzanine is designed as a pedestrian street, with six new shops—including local businesses—now available to passengers and people living nearby. It is supported by 18 white concrete columns that rise from the platforms below to a total height of 18 metres.
Eight lifts and 12 escalators connect the mezzanine to the rest of the station. Other features include vending machines and 16 giant next-generation passenger information screens, plus smaller screens in waiting areas and at platform access points.
By 2030, Nantes station expects to serve 25 million passengers a year.
Fully connected, with unlimited free WiFi, the newly transformed station is more accessible for passengers with disabilities, thanks to guide trails and hearing loops. And we’ve doubled the size of our Grand Voyageur lounge to make you more comfortable.
The new station promotes eco-responsible mobility, and it’s designed to be a destination in itself. The mezzanine will make life easier for passengers and people living nearby—and by giving the station more appeal, it will give rail travel more appeal.
Marlène Dolveck, CEO, SNCF Gares & Connexions
Making eco-friendly travel easier
The renovated building earned “highly efficient” certification under the HQE (High Environmental Quality) standard both for its eco-friendly building materials and construction, and for environmentally responsible management of the project site. Its green ventilation system also minimizes energy costs, opening to circulate air in summer and closing to retain solar heat in winter.
And to facilitate access to the most eco-friendly transport options, the new mezzanine is surrounded by a multimodal hub:
- On the north side, we completely renovated a 3.5-ha area between 2017 and 2019. The forecourt now features more green space and an upgraded light rail station, and a 700-place bike shelter is set to open in 2021.
- The south entrance offers access to bus lines serving the city and the region, and by 2025 the esplanade will be remade into a wide expanse planted with trees.
Il était une gare… de Nantes !
1 Does not include the Paris region
2 Funded by the Pays de la Loire Region, the Nantes Metropolitan Council, the Council of the département of Loire-Atlantique, the European Union, the French State and SNCF Gares & Connexions