Évreux, Portes de Normandie (FR)


Project Scales L/S - Urban and architectural

Location CA Evreux Portes de Normandie, City of Evreux - the Chartraine axis (rue Jean Jaurès, de la Harpe & Chartraine), from the train station to the university

Population CA Evreux Portes de Normandie 82,000 inhab., City Evreux 49,722 inhab.

Strategic site 180 ha – Project site 32 ha

Site proposed by / Actors involved CA Evreux Portes de Normandie, city of Évreux, with Normandie Region, Eure Départemental Council, SNCF Réseau (rail network) Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie (CCI) Portes de Normandie, l’Etablissement Public Foncier (EPF) de Normandie, CAUE 27, and the University

Owner of the site CA Evreux Portes de Normandie, city of Évreux, SNCF Réseau, Eure Départemental Council

Post-competition phase studies of urban and architectural feasibility, guideline plan, and/or development project for public spaces

Team representative architect, uban planner, lanscaper

More Information

How can the site contribute to the productive city?

The station and its immediate surroundings constitute an urban system that juxtaposes the Madeleine district and the city centre, without any effective interaction. A genuine «frontier zone», uncrossable and even inhospitable, the station area has become an important space that rhythms daily life in the city while at the same time a public space suffering from a lack of definition. There is an opportunity on the property around the station to build a new urbanity that is not kept within its boundaries but deployed along a north-south axis connecting the Madeleine district to the city center. Redefine the botanical gardens, reintroduce «productive streets» along the commercial axis Chartraine-Harpe-Jaurès, create public space linking the station to the university and enhance access to the Madeleine. These objectives would develop urban connections along which other projects already under way could connect (e.g. Bel Ebat and St Louis) in order to further revitalisation and enhancement the city.

City strategy

Victim of deindustrialization, the city is seeking to regenerate economic development by capitalizing in on its know-how and heritage assets: heritage in the service of a territory-wide economic base and the economy in service of the enhancement of heritage. This involves the establishment in the heart of the city of productive activities (shops, services, diversified activities and uses, etc.) The city sees in the station area and its progressive multimodal status a social, cultural, economic and real estate opportunity to revitalise the city and its territory in interaction with the region and greater Paris, as well as a chance to link the upper and lower areas of the city (Madeleine and city centre) Between these two urban entities, the station and city centre, the city has grasped the importance of defining a strong fundamental public space, with productive and therefore attractive streets, through the re-appropriation of, for example, vacant commercial ground floors. This strategy also relies on the enhancement of the urban landscape heritage of which the botanical garden is a strong element.

Site definition 

The station is located south of city centre on the Madeleine hillside. It dominates the lower city at the edge of the historic heart and impacts the other two hills that frame the city. The pedestrian bridge crossing the railway lines on a north-south axis is a fine thread in the heart of the area connecting the Madeleine neighbourhood (result of urban expansion begun in the 60s) and the historic city centre via the botanical gardens and Rue Jaurès, Rue Harpe and Rue Chartraine. Two major streets, Boulevard Churchill to the east and Boulevard des Cités Unies to the west, border the site. Boulevard Gambetta (the National road N13) crosses the site lengthwise. The station area, a major place in the heart of the city, should be able to produce urbanity at multiple levels, unlike the urban rupture that it currently causes.

How is Production Considered in the Urban Diversity Program?

Station sector: produce urbanity and think the adaptable city
The Evreux railway station is a centre of mobility and connection, a place for meeting and interaction. What spaces would be able to produce and accommodate urbanity capable of attracting users and local commuters on a daily basis? What facilities are needed to complement the existing infrastructure, enhance real-estate values, make the territory attractive and the whole city accessible by linking the upper and lower areas and connecting out even further? The challenge is also to imagine a relevant project for the present while being progressive and adaptable in the future (modernization project under study for the Paris-Normandy line). It is question of proposing in this context the structure of an urban diversity that avoids mono-functional programmes that could block the sector again and encumber its potential influence.

Heritage and economy: a productive interaction
As a continuation of issues involved in the development of the station area, the aim is to create links with the city centre to the north and Madeleine to the south, imagining an evolution of uses along shopping streets that have lost steam and to carry that progression on to the station.
How to introduce new activities, complementary and diverse, using both the influence of major transport infrastructures and their development potential, while relying on the fundamental urban, landscaped and cultural heritage of the city? How to rely on the inhabitants, the occasional or permanent visitors and especially training and educational activities? How to converge the numerous and wide-reaching interactions to be developed around the station with a creative regeneration born of the city’s heritage and the urban and territorial landscape?


The train station and the boulevard Gambetta
Entrance to the Botanical Garden from Boulevard Gambetta and Station


The Chartraine axis – from the train station to the University
All images © CAUE de l'Eure
The Iton River and the banks developments downtown


Questions on the site

We would like to know if all the railways along the station are currently in use, and what is the amount of railways needed for a future functioning of the railway. Is it possible to reduce their number, and reuse this land for intensification strategies? Another related question - can we consider construction of a tunnel for railways?

The existing railway lines cannot be reduced because the SNCF need them for maintenance reasons and especially because as we don't know what will be the station's future regarding the LNPN project, it's impossible to figure out the capacity that will be needed. Regarding the construction of a tunnel for trains, within the framework of the competition, candidates will be free to come up with solutions in order to cover the tracks but it must be considered that digging a tunnel for the tracks is a really constraining solution, technically and most of all, financially.

Is it possible to have the following pictures without the yellow and red perimeters (etc.), to use it for project integration : FR-EVREUX-SS-AP01 / FR-EVREUX-SS-AP02 / FR-EVREUX-PS-AP02

These documents are available for download, in the Complete Site folder, in "0-New_Docs_after_Launch/aerial_pictures"

When and how to testify of us being architects?

For any question on the rules, please refer to the Rules page, on which you will also find an FAQ.
Please also check the Users's Guide for Participation to the competition for basic questions.

Could we have a dwg file with the topographic curves of the whole city ?

6 new dwg plans of the project sector were added to the complete site folder, in "0-New_Docs_after_Launch". However, the municipality provides no guarantee regarding the conformity of these documents.

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