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Station Area · Rouen, France

A welcoming gateway to the city

Transforming a fragmented, car-dominated area into an attractive public space for all users


Rouen Rive Droite station is a major transport hub with over 6 million annual passengers, located in the densely built historic city centre of Rouen in Normandy. The predominance of road infrastructure and the presence of numerous visual barriers hindered the mobility of soft modes and severely limits the opportunities for using the public realm. The station area has undergone a profound transformation to improve the comfort of use,  accessibility of public transports and to create an attractive entrance into  the city.

Rouen, France
Project area
1,4 ha
Métropole Rouen Normandie
ZCCS, SOGETI, Les Éclairagistes Associés, GEODICE, EPICEUM
Photography credits
Antoine Thevenet, Pierre Marchevet

An optimised space for active mobility

By narrowing carriageways, redistributing car traffic onto surrounding streets and rationalising the supply of on-street parking, the public space has been reconfigured and cleared to the benefit of slow traffic. Pedestrian and cycle movement has been optimised with safe, comfortable and legible connections to the city centre and across the square where  priority has been given to active mobility through the implementation of a shared space.

Creator of meaningful places
Reorienting and decluttering the square
Providing comfortable pedestrian routes
Creating a series of welcoming gardens
Activating the frontages

Reopening the square

Through  extensive traffic reorganisation, the decluttering and extension of the forecourt towards the town centre and the continuity of materials, the opportunity for the passenger building to open up onto its square and the forecourt onto the centre of Rouen has been created. The opposite Jeanne d’Arc street has been designed as a natural extension of the square in the form of a promenade, offering continuous and comfortable pedestrian routes to the town centre and the different transport modes: trains, buses and metro.

Creator of meaningful places

Urban living rooms

Two gardens frame the station forecourt. Envisioned as urban living rooms, they offer spaces for socialising, playing and relaxing by incorporating generous seating around their edges. Inspired by the local impressionism heritage, their playful composition and variety of orientations cater for a range of sitting arrangements and social interactions while creating an open, legible space, thanks to a layout that builds upon viewpoints and pedestrian desire lines.


Reactivating the area

The spaces along the edges of the square and its surroundings formed an underused commercial frontage that was constrained by the proximity of car traffic and parking. The public realm has been reconfigured to provide a more generous and comfortable space for restaurant terraces and outdoor sales areas, contributing to the revitalisation of  the area and encourages pedestrians to wander and spend more time here.


A green oasis for a resilient station square

Our design capitalised on the opportunity to improve the network of green spaces in which the area was particularly lacking. By creating a series of multi-layer planted gardens, the project provides an eightfold decrease of artificial surfaces by and increases the biodiversity of the area with a wide range of perennials and tree species. Combined with the use of light natural stone, the design significantly improves the microclimate of the area, potentially reducing local temperature by up to 4°C.

Creator of meaningful places

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