Prime Minister Jean Castex inaugurated the Bagneux-Lucie Aubrac metro station (terminus line 4) on Thursday, January 13th, 2022, and unveiled this new phase in the city’s development.
With the Place des gares, a new urban centrality is born in Bagneux: the arrival of line 4 of the metro and the Grand Paris Express creates a public space on the scale of the city, in the heart of the cluster, designed to open up and connect the station hub to all the northern neighbourhoods, channel car traffic, reduce transit traffic and serve the residents of the Victor Hugo eco-neighbourhood.
The urban project of the Victor Hugo eco-neighbourhood (created in 2011) is led by Sadev 94 and the city of Bagneux, with the multidisciplinary team of the regional division of the Arte Charpentier agency, as well as Bérim, the operation’s representative. Arte Charpentier is the ZAC Coordinating Architect and Public Spaces Contractor.
Arte Charpentier proposed to unite the two stations (M4 and L15 Grand Paris Express) around a new urban polarity by taking advantage of the new dynamics provided by the means of transport and to create a controlled intensification of this new area.
The challenge of this new centrality for the city, and one of the complexities of the project, lies in the integration of the multiple methods of mobility and their connections in the design of a peaceful, pedestrian public space.
Arte Charpentier therefore imagined the creation of a vast square without different levels or steps, accessible to all and largely devoted to pedestrians. The intermodality space is part of the street space. The square is not over-equipped, nor cluttered, nor partitioned, in order to maintain the largest possible dimensions and guarantee a multitude of uses.
The project builds on the wealth of the social, architectural, urban and landscape diversity to create an urban space that is consistent with the development of the city and which spills over into the adjoining neighborhoods.
Ten years ago, Bagneux was a green city which was unaware of itself. Arte Charpentier made the choice to reveal and magnify the existing landscape: the existing planted spaces are inscribed in a framework of structuring public spaces to re-wild the city with local vegetation.
The selected plant palette is varied, avoiding monospecific alignments. The trees are planted in strips, in order to create a continuity of fertile soil, with vegetation making up nearly 30% of the surface area. The built area fits into this framework in continuity with the existing urban fabric, thereby contributing to its diversity. On the other hand, the implementation of alternative stormwater management over a large part of the square aims to create islands of freshness to increase urban comfort.
The first phase of the operation is now completed. Most of the trees will be planted in the second phase, in 2 years’ time. All the spaces in the Place des gares will be completed by 2027, after the completion of the Grand Paris Express station.
The production of the city initiated in this area is part of a participatory approach. The residents of Bagneux were invited, at all stages of the project, to take part in the reflections on the future of the district. Public meetings were held, thematic workshops were organised, and visits outside the ZAC were scheduled in order to present inspiring urban operations and achievements in public spaces.
More specifically on the Place des Gares, a citizen jury participated in the choice of architects for the built-up blocks and three thematic workshops also took place around the use of the new public space: art and culture, uses, inclusiveness.
The Victor Hugo eco-district has been awarded numerous prizes:
2021 – Coproduction urbaine avec les habitants Prize, 5e Défis Urbains, Forum des Projets Urbains
2020 – Espaces Publics Prize, Palmarès du paysage, Fédération Française du Paysage
2019 – Trophée du Cadre de Vie Trophée Best of 25 ans du Cadre de Vie