Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura

Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura

Barcelona, ES


Port of Sète New Maritime Terminal

Client : Région Languedoc Roussillon

Total area: 185,000 m2


The Port of Sète New Maritime Station and the planning of its quays is a strategic operation aiming to create a new gateway to the city, to the Region of Languedoc Roussillon and to the European continent. RBTA’s proposal for this public facility will regenerate the port’s area and transform the city through a modern and functional scheme.

Sited on the middle of the plot and accessible through the boulevard running from the Place Mangeot, the Maritime Station stands as a distinctive single building. The pedestrian plaza that links the terminal with the city provides a vibrant civic space for the citizens and visitors.

Raised above street level, the plaza overlooks the terminal, the city and the Mediterranean; as a public terrace, this space will offer spectacular views over the port.

The plaza will partially cover the public car park, the bus and taxi lanes, and a new pedestrian area that can be connected to the future ZAC (Integrated Development Zone). Most of the passengers will access the area from the north side through Montpellier’s road. The development segregates vehicular access (cars and trucks) to avoid contributing to traffic congestion in the city.


On a gentle slope along the perimeter of the site RBTA team has designed a landscaped boulevard that hides the port’s railings, and that complement the generous green areas.

Changing the axis of the scheme, RBTA’s design proposal allows bringing the new public space closer to the city centre and permitting the integration of the station within Sète’s urban grid. The orientation of the station building is also more favorable from a technical point of view since the main façades face north and south, rather than east and west.

Laid transversely on the site, the building’s bridge-shape structure integrates within the city through an urban gesture. Functions as police control, customs, public car park and the accesses to the station, are located below, providing greater flexibility and smoother processes. The waiting areas are located on the upper level; large windows filter natural light into these spaces and ensure spectacular views of the port and the city of Sète.

The station building is covered by a metal colored unifying roof. Three linear skylights flood the concourse below with daylight. The extensive use of glass throughout the terminal takes advantage of natural light for energy efficiency and reveals the building's internal functions, contributing to flows orientation and enhancing the performance of the facility.

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Status: Competition Entry
Location: Sète, FR