Gare Versailles-Chantier Paris, Parisian Railway Station, French Building, Image

Gare Versailles-Chantier : Paris Railway Station

Train Building in northern France – design by André Ventre, architect

19 + 16 Mar 2012

Gare Versailles-Chantier

Design: André Ventre

Versailles-Chantier Station

Gare Versailles-Chantier, designed by André Ventre (1874-1951) in the late 20’s and early 30’s, is the largest of the three Versailles train stations.

Gare Versailles-Chantier : Paris Railway Station clock

Photographs © Rebecca Breun

The whole Gare Versailles-Chantier complex is a modernistic tour de force, built in reinforced concrete.

Gare Versailles-Chantier Paris Railway Station

Although the curved, central, stone clad façade draws it inspiration from classical architecture with pillars and cornices’, the tall openings with the entrance doors which continues as window makes the interior feel light and spacious; the side wings are lower and in the style of the time, plain with large steel framed windows. The overall form is inspired by and literally looks like a locomotive from the 30’ties.

Gare Versailles-Chantier Porte de Buc

Inside, the entrance hall retains much of it former glory, although a solid roof has replaced the glass brick one. The interior still has many of the original, Art Deco features such as the large clock in the main hall, a stone carved plan of the region.

Gare Versailles-Chantier SNCF Railway Station France

The second hall gives you access to the platforms below. It is divided into two parts. The first part is narrower than the entrance hall with a central staircase leading down to the first platforms.

Gare Versailles-Chantier Gare Versailles-Chantier Gare Versailles-Chantier

The second space, narrower again, spans the width of the tracks and has tall vaulted roof. Here the stairs are situated on the outer wall, on the right hand side there is a secondary circulation space again with stairs and escalators to the platforms. The whole space has ample natural lighting from the tall windows on the side. The only decoration is a carved plan at each end.

Versailles station building, west of Paris
Versailles station building
photograph © Adrian Welch

The station was officially inaugurated in 1932 to great acclaim.

The building was listed in 1998 and is very much in need of renovation.

In 2011 the station was made accessible from Port de Buc.

Rebecca Breun

Gare Versailles-Chantier images / information from Rebecca Breun

Address: 4, Rue de l’Abbé Rousseau 78000 Versailles, Paris, France

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