National Wood Construction Award 2019
Laval à Grande Vitesse is an emblematic urban project for the city of Laval and its urban environment. With the opening of the new High-Speed Line, this development with shops, offices, housing, services, etc. will give the station area the dimension of an economic hub for the City of Laval and the entire region on an urban scale.
Designed to open up certain areas behind the station, the new footbridge has been conceived as a promenade linking the different parts of the city. It is accessible to both pedestrians and cyclists.
Wide and spacious, it opens onto the city. Partially covered, the footbridge is both, comfortable for passengers travelling between the platforms thanks to its protective shell to the west, and, fully open to the east, it links the promenade overlooking the new bus station with uninterrupted views over the city.
From a technical point of view, the footbridge extends over 95 m, thanks to its primary metal structure made up of two longitudinal box girders connected by T-beams every 2.3 m. With a width of 8 m, it can be accessed by three lifts, three staircases and a ramp, and is clad in solid oak decking.
The footbridge is anchored by slender pillars, designed to flex and counterbalance distortions induced by temperature fluctuations.
The design of the equipment is based on the catenary risk of the tracks. Therefore, to the west, the promenade is protected by a vertical emergence from the bridge surmounted by a 1.80 m glass screen, behind which, oak slats as sunbreakers are installed. Thus, the view is filtered to the west and unobstructed to the east.
In terms of environmental considerations, wood, particularly oak, was a conscientious choice for the roof and cladding due to its strength and longevity. Native French timber rivals the durability of Ipé and sourcing locally not only reduces our carbon footprint but also contributes to forest conservation efforts.
Lead Architect: Dietmar Feichtinger Architectes