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Identity of a transport Interchange, Saint-Nazaire, France by Tetrarc

Photo credits: Stéphane Chalmeau.

The French firm, Tetrarc, have made an important statement when they designed this transport interchange in the French town of Saint-Nazaire. They did it by finding savings in their finishes budget ,to bring to life a scheme for the people of the town, that could easily have been handed down to the town transport engineers and rendered as the banal consequence of its function.

Instead, the elements of the transport interchange are painted white and set-off with colourful ribbons of bus shelter that remind us such facilities are at the service of the people that use them, not simply the machines that carry the people.

Set around the Saint-Nazaire railway station, the scheme is the response to the introduction of high frequency bus routes that will help drive the future expansion of the town. It consists of a new bridge with walkways, a bus interchange, cycle lanes and a bike park as well as some extensive paving and new roads.

There are also details in the design that nod to the town's communal identity as ship builders. Without being obvious, they have quoted shapes in the canopies and other structures that are reminiscent of the great vessels actually built there.

From a distance, the whole scheme captures the spirit a great ship ready to be launched.


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