Turning 20 makes anything possible. Ideas are fresh, but at the same time experience guides our decisions. At the beginning, there was only a small team within SNCF’s Agence des gares that later expanded to become AREP (standing for Aménagement, Recherche, Pôles d’échanges).
Today AREP Group brings together a staff of 900 people spread across the world, more than half of them being architects, as our ranking in the WA100 confirms. You can find out more about our history in AREP- Inventing the contemporary station, a retrospective book published by AAM/Ante Prima.
For the years to come, we will keep supporting our main client, Gares & Connexions-SNCF, while providing the authorities of increasingly evolving territories with our expertise in various fields, such as design, city planning, flow modelling, programming and sustainable development. Ecological, social and digital transition set the pace. Both AREP and its subsidiaries have experience in keeping pace with changes and in taking the pulse of the city. We have always sought to further develop our expertise, which gradually expanded from station buildings to their surroundings, then neighbourhoods and entire cities to finally include larger regions.
We initially developed our architectural and planning methodology to meet the growing interconnection needs. Today we embrace new uses and perceive stations not only as multimodal hubs but mainly as links within multi-faceted cities. We are present in Europe, in India, in the Middle East, in Hanoi and in Beijing to better manage projects focusing on eco-cities, bridges, multi-purpose buildings and street furniture. We have become the voice of the American-coined concept of transit-oriented development (TOD) that we unwittingly initiated in France more than twenty years ago.
To be totally frank, we are hoping to celebrate our 40th anniversary with clients and staff with whom we will have unwittingly conceived the cities of an even further future. No matter how they are called -smart, augmented or biophilic cities- as long as people on the move are surrounded by architecture that lives up to their expectations.