Public Spaces of the Eaux-Vives Station by

2023 Public Projects / Switzerland / Built in 2019 /

The Eaux-Vives station is part of the Léman Express rail network, it is served by regional and international trains, as well as by bus and tram lines. The project, winner of the competition launched in 2011 by the city of Geneva, concerns the urban design (Plan Localisé de Quartier) and landscaping of the new station district combining activities, facilities, culture, housing and transport. The design and implementation in stages and in co-activity is one of the challenges of this project, which will take more than 15 years to complete. The issues related to global warming, such as soil permeability and tree planting, were given priority, as was the legibility of the various flows within the multimodal hub. Three landscape environments are part of the linear logic of the site. On the one hand, the avenue de la gare has been redesigned with large lines of plane trees to accommodate all the intermodal functions; on the other hand, gardens have been laid out on the shopping arcade with Mediterranean species and large shaded decks. In front of the Nouvelle Comédie theatre, a long fountain inscribes the presence of water within the garden. Finally, further down, the Viollier promenade opens onto the residential complexes with various recreational functions. The station square links the new district with the Eaux-Vives district by offering shaded islands punctuated by pine and cherry trees and circular wooden benches. The lower square hosts a temporary structure protected by yellow sails, benches, a fountain and plantations. The schools in the neighbourhood have access to the planters.

The development of the Eaux-Vives station continues on the Agasse Weber promenade by reclaiming former railway land reserves, roads and car parks. The project integrates the agglomeration greenway and aims to establish a continuous public space for the district. The reduction of road-related barriers and, in particular, the creation of a vast pavement within a 30 km/h zone will provide a safe environment for active modes of transport. Between Route de Chêne and Rue Agasse, the promenade is built on the train cover slab and is composed of two strips. The first, to the south, is marked by a concrete pavement. It is used for bicycles and soft mobility. The second, to the north, forms a terrace with planted gardens that ends with steps along Rue Agasse. The square is laid out from front to back and is crossed by the greenway, with a flower meadow planted with cherry trees and a square shaded by plane trees. The square is protected from the road and delimited by a long bench with lighting on the underside and a fountain.

The greenway, a 3.5 km linear park, is part of the implementation of the Franco-Vaud-Geneva Agglomeration Project, which extends from west to east from the regional center of Saint-Genis in the Ain (France) to the regional center of Annemasse in Haute-Savoie (France). The section between the Eaux-Vives train station and the Foron river, at the french border, is linked to the realization of the Léman Express rail link and offers a soft mobility network in a landscape continuity.

The second phase of the station area project started in 2023 and is planned to be completed in 2025. MSV architecture paysage urbanisme sàrl is carrying out a complete architectural mission.

The Geneva Eaux-Vives station project is the winner of the FLUX 2022 “New Interfaces of the Léman Express” award. The “FLUX – Pôle d’échange d’or” prize is awarded to a recently redeveloped Swiss interchange that provides a high level of user comfort for passengers and thus contributes to increasing the attractiveness of public transport compared to individual modes of transport. The Eaux-Vives station convinced the jury because of the great diversity of the functional and urban qualities of the project and the singular fact that the public space is the guiding thread of the overall project.
The project was also slected for Best of Anthos (Fédération Suisse des Architectes Paysagistes – FSAP) 2022 &2023.

Location: Geneva / Switzerland

Design year: 2011

Year Completed: 2019

landscape / implementation
year – end of 2019 and 2025 (competition 2010, winning project)
client – ​​City of Geneva, Urban Planning Department
area – 4.8 ha
team – TBS (civil engineer), BCPH (mobility engineer), François Gschwind (lighting design)


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