A place of memory
Bobigny Station was built in 1928 and served as a freight and passenger hub. During the German occupation of France, Jewish people were deported from this station to the concentration camps. After the war, the site sat unused until the French Railway Company (SNCF) leased the site to a steel scrap dealer until 2005. Since then, the site has become a historical monument. The City of Bobigny and several partners have set out to create a place of remembrance by preserving the site’s heritage while enhancing the historical and symbolic value of the area.
Context and placemaking
The design of Bobigny Station sets to contribute to placemaking and the surrounding context by making visible the events of the past – to reconcile the memory of the deportation station within the urban context. The project restores a missing presence in the city through symbolism and introspective experiences. By setting an intentionally-slow pace down the sloping platform, re-levelling striking vistas, and providing meaningful, interactive pause moments, the design imbues the visitor with emotions and memories from the past.
Bobigny Station is unique in that it is home to several regionally significant pioneer plant species. After the war, access to the site was limited, which allowed for nature to take over. Our design showcases the site’s ecological qualities with a targeted maintenance plan, strengthening the already rich biodiversity present on the site. The natural qualities of Bobigny Station will contribute to the area’s urban ecology by maintaining lush, vegetative buffers and increasing the amount of pollinator-friendly plants. Stormwater is infiltrated and conveyed through vegetated swales that run along the site.