Lens-shaped glass roof over Saint Lazare metro station

Paris - France
Lens-shaped glass roof over Saint Lazare metro station
1997 - 2003
ARTE Charpentier
RFR’s assignments

Design of the glass roof and the structure

When line 14 of the Paris metro was extended, architects Arté-Charpentier proposed a station entrance in the shape of a glass bubble or 'lens' ('lentille' in French) for Place Saint Lazare, allowing travellers under ground to see the sky.
This structure uses the effects of transparency in a new way. The surrounding objects are reflected on the shiny spherical surface of the 'lens', making it gleam like a jewel and turning it into an urban feature of the square that avoids falling into the trap of the usual opaque, solid structure.

The structure of the 'bubble' or 'lens'-shaped roof had to be as light as possible. RFR opted for a simple structure consisting of interwoven perpendicular arches supporting a doubly-curved transparent surface. This structure is braced by a series of cross-shaped cables.
Since its opening in 2003, this station serves as a case study in the use of stainless steel, which is applied extensively throughout the structure in sheet and plate form with many different types of finishing.
Lens-shaped glass roof over Saint Lazare metro station, detail