The Grand Paris Express is part of the Grand Paris project announced in 2007, under Nicolas Sarkozy's presidency, to develop Greater Paris into a sustainable metropolitan area. The 205km rapid transit network is located in the Ile-de-France region in France.
The project involves construction of four new automatic metro lines around Paris and expansion of two existing lines of Paris Metro, with the aim of providing direct connectivity between suburban districts without having to travel through the city centre, while also linking important transport hubs in the city.
The public debate over the future of the Grand Paris public transport network has shed light on the full importance of the role metro stations play in Paris. This is true not only for urban transport companies, but also for investors, regional decision-makers and passengers. The stations must be designed in such a way as to both accompany and sustain the ambitions of the Grand Paris public transport network. As a result a new generation of metro stations is to be developed, to meet the differing needs of the diverse areas and localities of the Île-de-France Region.
The Vitry-Centre station, designed by atelier d'architecture King Kong, lies on the south-east portion (Noisy-Champs/Villejuif Louis-Aragon) of the red line of the Grand Paris Express. It is a town-centre station and provides access to the Town Hall, sports and cultural facilities, and links to existing above-ground transport networks (buses) and services to come (tramway) and connects with the RD5, one of the main north-south highways of the south-eastern Paris region.
The station has been laid out by atelier d'architecture King Kong in absolute harmony with the Parc du Coteau, from which it emerges in almost organic manner.
The exterior forecourt has been extended to form a covered concourse, providing passengers with a gentle slope down into the station. This transitional space, linking inside and out, also provides access to the avenue, clearly voicing the station’s presence within the urban fabric. The green vault above the concourse, in intimate connection with the park, is entirely planted and ample perforations offer enticing views of the station from the park and of the park from the station below.
This immemorial architectural design offers a consummately contemporary take on the spaces we journey through as we travel about. One might easily imagine that those occasionally passing through should want to return here, on a voyage of discovery into the dreamlike world unfolding beneath their feet.