The reorganization of the train station square project in La Chaux-de-Fonds is based on the desire to create a space unique in size and quality, with an air of openness, enclosed within a perimeter of buildings steeped in heritage.
Inside of the square, remarkable for its size, the two open pavilions either side of the station divide the space into its separate uses.
In the center, the esplanade offers a large perspective, a real window into the city. To the west the first pavilion, with an area of 1200 squares meters, holds the bus terminal. Its 71 supportive pillars of 127 millimeters in diameter spread over 4 axes divide up the bus platforms and the traffic lanes.
They hold a roof 6.5 meters in height, as though suspended above the open space. In the east a second pavilion of 744 square meters provides a flexible, versatile area for pedestrians to use come Summer or Winter.
The random placement of the 73 pillars, each of 114 millimeters in diameter, gives character to the public space, creating three circular areas within the pavilion free of pillar supports. These two white structures, with only their steel frame exposed, slim and graceful are the symbol of the new station square.
By day the structures seem to blend into the background. But by night they light up and shine like two lanterns.
The result is a contrast of architecture, a subtle balance between historical and contemporary buildings which forms a new reference point at the heart of the city, living up to its cultural reputation.