The town of Tournai wished to have a new multi-modal transport hub connected to its train station and to refurbish Rue Royale. This competition was the perfect occasion to rethink the urban routes and redefine how the town fits in with its territory. The site of the train station along with Crombez park and square is both vast and fragmented into a series of spaces with difficult connections. This fragmentation is the result of historical territorial continuity which is now experienced as discontinuity. In order to remedy this situation, the project proposes to reconfigure the site as a whole to create connections between the existing and future sections, integrating the architecture, infrastructure and landscape within a spatial structure to clarify the town’s relation to its territory. It also proposes to introduce the concept of an urban open space to create an area for play and socialising. Positioned just in front of the line of the façades, the urban open space affirms its presence in the view of the boulevard, creating continuity with the outlying green belt. It requalifies the square to form a true connection, both physical and visual, between the station and Rue Royale. The station project consists of a spacious multi-modal hub linked to the square and culminating in a car park and bicycle parking with roof terrace, a park and ride facility and a landscaped bus station. The Rue Royale is remodelled to give priority to non-motorised transportation, providing very wide pavements to share. The central part destined to vehicle traffic is surfaced with quartz-infused concrete. The pavements and bicycle lanes are covered in reclaimed sawn paving stones. The whole is finished off with smooth concrete edges and metal studs. The textures and tone of the paving focuses on continuity with the façades to accentuate unity in Rue Royale.
For the project as a whole, the textures of the materials used for the paving give an understated and rhythmic look with natural blue-grey tones and little contrast, underlining the regularity and harmony that characterises the architecture in Tournai.