du domaine routier


du domaine routier

Supply stations


For an architecture project

Book 1

Political system-104

Book 2






110-Engineer’s demands

120-Social issues

100-Marketing system

Case Study 1976-124

Livre 2 :

Reparamétrer l’aire de ravitaillement

Pour un projet d’architecture


112 - Introduction

115 - Organisation

117 - Système marketing

130 - Système128-Case politique Study

138 - Attente des Aireingénieurs de la Broye

090 - Les pratiques de la mobilité

093 - Conditions périurbaines

099 - Enjeux sociaux

141 - Révision du programme

Case Study-138

Aire de Bavois

142 - Case Study en 1976

151 - Case Study de l’aire de


161 - Case Study de l’aire de la


169 - Programmation

New programs-144

Map 1/500 000

Why do motorways seem to look like engineers’ constructions more than architects’

one? Why rest areas are so functional and are so few attractive?

The aim of this second book is to put ahead the political issues, the engineer field issues

and the economic issues under meant by the construction of a rest area. A large

panel of social behaviors will qualify this analysis.

Then we’ll see three study cases, before entering in the definition of the program.

The motorway is a working place for the architects and for the urbanists too. It’s their

role to proceed on the infrastructure until it become generic, without any taste, and




Marketing system


The motorway is a spatial form which was built to maximize the profits and to reduce the

transport costs. It has so many centers, one looking exactly like the other, along its ramifications.

A more precise inspection shows that fuel stations are never exactly the same.

Their shape and the reason of existance are due to subtle variations due to local events or

because of products sold in the store or in the restaurant. but even those tiny differences

always stay linked to a high level of standardization. In the architecture, they obey to the

prefabrication field when it deals with restaurant or fuel stations.


But the rest area is not only functional; it is the place for tough economic strategies which

redirect companies’ advertising choices. Their clients have to be appealed from the road,

and the scale chosen largely exceed the human scale. It’s the vehicle scale, and there again

we’ll have to consider the term of scale with Venturi’s glasses: a dynamic scale which react

to the perspective.



Interview of a Agip marketing director: Mr. Cassani

AGIP owns 240 fuel station over Switzerland what represents only 7% of the market

shares and what gives them the sixth rank.

How to calculate the rentability of a rest area?

These data are too stay confidential but they can change according to :

-the number of vehicles on the motorway ( minimum 15 000/day)

-the kind of vehicle

-the kind of people

-a bilateral system with a bridge (enables to increase from 25 to 30% the profits)

At the beginning the canton created rules of distanciation between the areas but nowadays

these rules tend to disapear at the benefit of economic liberalism. Agip is planning the

construction of six new areas among the network for 2007. The main part of their studies is

to take market shares from other areas.

The margins are only 3 cents for a liter of fuel, it’s very little, but the sale of souvenirs, food

and all that stuff is making good profits.

Usually, when they want to build an area they gather engineers but for the first time, Agip

decided to work with architects in 2005. it shows they are aware of the necessity to develop

concepts link to the area’s improvement.



Political systems

In 2006, 10 kilometers of national road will be open to the traffic.

The main building works will begin on three sections, the one connecting Knonau to the

cantonal border of Zoug (A4), the leading from French border to Porrentruy Ouest (A16) and

to end, the semi motorway between Landquart and Klosters Selfranga (A28). Besides the

construction of the tunnel thought for the exercises of the intervention services (SO/OW) has

been authorized. Such is the program 2006 that had been agreed by the federal Department

of the environment, the transports, the energy and the communication (DETEC).

The section connecting Porrentuy is very attractive, as it will pbe the place for the building

of too new rest areas. One of them, close to Dolémont, will be the site for my futur intervention.

The Parliament released a credit of 1,360 billion frank for this work at its session of

winter 2005

The attribution of the financial resources for the completion of the network, the projects of

installation and for the protection measures against the noise and the environmental harmful

effects duly takes account of the needs on the matter for the French-speaking Switzerland

and Tessin. With regard to the current construction schedule, the DETEC fixed the following

priorities: 390,1 million frank for the sections in building site in these areas, which corresponds

to 28,7% of the total credit.














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How does one arrive to the decision of construction of a surface of supply?

Today in the majority of the cases they are promoters who gather, following the studies of

large firms like AGIP, and these promoters manufacture a project of surface before going to

meet the canton.

For Autogrill, which has whole complexes of surface of motorway, it is rather a question

of preparing studies, to submit them to possible collaborators or partner, then to meet the

canton, but with only one banner: Autogrill.

The canton, which has its proper financings and those of the state, will rule on the possibility

of making a surface. It is responsible for the maintenance of its infrastructure, and thus

for external installations related to the surface. Even if in practice, it is in fact the manager

placed in the restoroute who will ensure maintenance of it.

In the best of the cases, the canton will organize a competition of architecture, or a contest

of idea. But for the majority of the surfaces built before 2001 in Switzerland, it accepted the

best directly offers than made him a promoter

To summarize, today in Switzerland, it is only in the case of a competition, that the architects

are asked to rethink projects of rest area. And these “historical” projects are two: Rose of

Broye and Bavois. These two surfaces are analyzed in the case study which follows.


Engineer’s demands

According to the objectives of the establishment of a surface defined by the engineers

in 1976:

For the users

“The basic objective is to place a halt at the disposal of the users of a motorway, enabling

them to change activity (supply and rest). Its establishment must give the desire to the user

for stopping. The center of supply must be visible by far, not only by one adequate indication,

but also by a remote sight of the installations. In addition, we do not neglect the fact

that the user decided to stop, is in a state of tiredness. The design of the area (indication and

site of the installations) must thus be especially simple and logical. The ways to be traversed

by the users (vehicles and pedestrians) must be minima. The installations must satisfy the

users and are designed in harmony with the landscape in order to be integrated into it the

best possible one while offering release and recreation.”

The cost of construction, the facility of exploitation and the maintenance are also important

objectives. Indeed, generally, the construction, the exploitation and the maintenance of a

surface are paid by the canton. Consequently, the criteria of economy and profitability, are

considerable. In short, the objectives are:

a) to ensure the supply and the rest

b) a simple and logical design

c) a construction harmonized with the landscape

d) to be economic and profitable.

These objectives are to achieve the following goals:

- To attract the customer

- To satisfy the customer

- To satisfy the environment

- To be adapted to cantonal finances.


For the vehicles

- Simplicity of the trajectory

By remembering that the user is in a certain state of tiredness, the road layout from the motorway

to the various installations of the C.R. must be of simple design.

- Fluidity of the traffic

The motorist must be able to leave it easily, without entering in conflict with vehicles possibly

coming from another direction of circulation.

- Possibility of change of direction

A road structure allows a usefull change of direction in the event of accident wished by users

using the area like place of appointment.

- Length of displacements

According to the position of the places in the parking compared to the other installations

(place of rest or restaurant), the pedestrian has a distance more or less long walking.

- Importance of the conflicts “pedestrians vehicles”

The importance of traffic can generate considerable conflicts between pedestrians and vehicles.

The engineers prepare a certain number of alternatives. Then these alternatives will be analyzed

according to above-mentioned criteria’s. The unit gives a table of comparative assessment.

The best evaluation gives place to the project.




Peri-urban conditions

The infinite repetition of the logos and the signs along the road gives a reassuring feeling. In

fact if a portable telephone is taken down, one could almost fell home. All that one finds in

this continuum space, one can find it in a city.

The Human capacities are summarized with an ability of use of this generic infrastructure:

The motorway and its services, my telephone, my credit card.

The appropriation of the highway rest area goes beyond what its originators had provided

at the beginning. There is an occasional appropriation on behalf of the nomads which are

installed on the area; it can be groups of tourists but more often of the gypsies who are into

perpetual transit. These nomads are true living of flows, and live with the infrastructure in

what it has of more elementary. They are often banned of the urban centers to the profit of

periurban parkings, in sites which lost any relationship to nature.

Which spaces of life for these people today?

The surface of supply has a potential to welcome them for them but it still has to be developed.

Next to them, lorry drivers set up provisional campings. They all transgress the

established laws and escape the continuous motion.

The appropriation of the surface shows some suburban practices specific to the American

continent. Another aspect of the sub-urbanity of these surfaces is their capacity to be radiated

apart from their locality. It is the example of the surface of the Gruyere about which we

spoke in the first book. Its hotel is a true tourist destination. It is always full because of the

bus of tourists or of the prostitution which takes place there. The surface becomes a true

locality then.


Article of inforoute 2006




Social issues

The anonymous character of these surfaces of motorway allows activities and relations

which would never arrive in urban centers whose codes of conduct are too restricted. In

spite of a high degree of standardization, the surfaces are the places of deviating social


At night the gatherings of truck-drivers cause densities of trucks similar to that of the suburban

houses. In fact this density becomes the refuge of hidden activities, of traffics in any

kind: dope, stolen goods, watches. On the accesses of the surface according to days, there

is also prostitution. But these activities which one finds in the city coincide with an impression

of danger. In fact the control of flow by the cameras and the many panels of warning

are not a chance. On a surface one is observed and always controlled. Wherever I go, small

stickers, stuck on the petrol stations, stuck on the slot-machines, on the windows of the

stores, prevent me that criminal activities would be condemned by the law. Very often I cross

cameras of monitoring and the radars prevent me from transgressing the laws.

In fact there is a correlation between spaces dependent on motorway flows and spaces of

transit of the airport type or shopping centre. These “withdrawals of case” as names them

Marc Augé, are places of transition. Whereas these spaces have a very high degree of standardization

and control of the people who cross them, these spaces constitute a new public

category of space. To define these “withdrawals of case”, Augé uses the concept of super

modernity which is based on the excess of information. Augé adds two figures moreover to

it: the excess of events, and the excess of space.



Case study 1976

Center of Grauholz

The center of Grauholz is a very old surface of supply which dates from the Seventies.

Its design puts forward the practical aspects of the surface of motorway: Proximity of the

parking with the restoroute, very large number of places (250). The diagram opposite also

illustrates principles of the motor vehicle traffics. Circulations pedestrians are almost always

perpendicular to the cars. The fuel stations are at the edge of the road and make good descriptive

for the motorist.

A comparison of photos between restoroute of Grauholz when it opened and restoroute of

the Gruyere today shows a great number of similarities in the style of installation. One could

think that in the majority of spaces of the Gruyere we can find the same old decoration.

Are restoroutes immuable spaces?



Interior of the restoroute Grauholz in 1976


Interior of the restoroute La Gruyère in 2006


Case study of the surface area of La rose de la Broye 1997

Interview on 30.11 with Mr. Domique Rosset architect in Freiburg and organizer of the


« The characteristic of the site is its connection with the cantonal road which offers to this

surface an ambivalent situation. Besides this, the area has an interesting density of program:

- a restaurant of 80 places with service

- a restaurant fast-food with 80 places and drive-in

- a snack bar cafeteria

- an external terrace of 80 places

- a kiosk and souvenir shop

- a food market

- a store of regional specialities and dairy products

- a 4 stars hotel of 80 rooms

- a gasoline station with Shop

-a tourist information

- telephones, WC and Baby Corner

- an external space for picnic

-250 places of park for cars and 14 places for bus

The establishment in platform is the result of a consensus between the cantons, because

the site of the surface is with the intersection of different cantons. It is a data of the contest

common to all the participants ».


The plan of assignment of the zones was established according to the «ordonnance»

concerning the directives and recommendations relating to the construction of the additional


These rules are specific to the motorway system.

However, the adjustment of the zones is also the result of the analysis of the site

One can thus spoken about a certain contextualisation of the surface of supply to his site.

Site affectation zones



Result of the competition for ideas:

For this contest, we classify the proposals in 4 types:

- linear structure

- solitary project

- landscaping project

- motorway project

Widmer Christe Henzelin Architects SA

The first price proposes a linear structure which feats and reveals the geometry of the

layout. The idea to gather under the same roof all the elements of the program makes it

possible to define with precision the space organization of the place. The monumental

hotel serves as signal for the motorists.

Olivier Charrière architecte

The third price proposes a solitary building which floats on a badly definite surface. The

interest of the project thus established underlines the natural topography of the place, and

gives a dimension to the building comparable with that of the landscape. However the project

contravenes the federal directives because it makes cohabit motorway program and

hotel program under the same roof.

Baechler Architects

This project gives the indication of restoroute established in the middle of a carpark. It

privileges the motor vehicle traffic instead of the relaxation.

Gerald Dupasquier & Carnal and Menthonnex SA

By a subtle use of the vegetation, this project seeks to deny the layout of the motorway,

and to restore the landscape connections.

O.Hunger workshop, Mr. Monnerat, F. Petitpierre

This project expresses the wish to reconstitute the wood of Faye by a vegetable treatment

of all the surface of the place of supply.


First price


A «solitaire»


Car circulations privileged for this proposition


Negation of the highway by reconnections of the sideroads


An opportunity to restor the «natural» forest


Case study of the motorway relay of Bavois May 1996

The second turn of the contest shows 3 principal types of proposition:

-the platform

-the solitary building

-the motorway entrance

Anouk Paltani-Bauman and Stefan Bauman

The buildings at the edge of the motorway give an effect of gate, but the most interesting is

the establishment of the restoroute integrated in the platform. It makes it possible to have

the sight on the slope and to preserve the view-point.

Fonso Boscehtti

This project more clearly refers to a gate on the motorway, while restoroute makes viewpoint,

but expresses this position on the landscape by a typology of building in glance on

the panoramma.

Lorenz Bräker and Florence Kontoyanni

The solitary building makes an inhabited bridge, and takes possession of the site. It uses a

unifying form for the program.

Patrick Mestelan and Bernard Gachet

The surface is located between the platform and the building. It is based in the topography

and shows really the contrast between speed related to the motorway, and the quasi monastic

rest related to the surface.

Ueli Brauen and Doris Wälchli

The proposal chooses the compact building, dissimulated, with a fragile footbridge pedestrian.


First price: semi-integrated building in a plateform


A gate


A bridging building


The Highway rest is a complete integrated plateform


A retired building


New programs

The programs which will be studied on my supply station are as follows:

-A place of meditation 60 m2

In the tradition of the traveller, there is a close relationship to the religion. The surface could

offer a space of meditation, as already the airports do it.

-A tourism office

Providing a place for the mass tourism is one of the objectives of the surface of supply, there

must be a powerful office of tourism.

-A station of gasoline delivery, hydrogen and of recharging of battery

including 6 places of double supply (12 possibility of simultaneous supply )

A building including :

a suppermarket surface of sale 130 m2

a freight deposit for the surface of sale 30 m2

a deposit for the station 10 m2

an office 12 m2

a rest room 12 m2

Sanitaries 1 WC for workers

2 WC for clients

a technical room

-A Restoroute fast-food ( Sushi bar or Mc Donald ) with Drive-in.

Hall of reception allowing the arrival from 2 to 3 bus 100 m2

Kitchens 50 m2

Cold rooms 17 m2

Cloakrooms men and women 20 m2

Each with 20 armoires, 1 WC, 1 lavabo, 1 douche

Refectory of the staff 10 m2

Office kitchen manager room 5 m2

Director room


10 m2

Technical room 25 m2

Dry deposit 20 m2

Salle de repos 15 m2

Room for the restaurant ( 70 places ) 70 m2

External installation for the restoroute :

Terrace of 50 places

Place for children plays

Service at the wheel with 2.80 / 3.20 ,

Delivery 3 times per week by semi trailer pallets 800 kg

Waste cants outside/crushing presses 25 m2

-A restaurant.

Reception, information 30 m2

Administration 20 m2

Coffee bar 20 m2

Dresser: cooled gondoles(self-service service) 14 m2

counter drinks (served by the personnel) 14 m2

Kitchen 170 m2

Cold rooms 40 m2

Office 50 m2

Freight depot (easy access) 150 m2

Dining room 180 m2

WC Ladies 8 WC

WC Sirs 5 WC and 6 urinals

Handicapped WC 1 WC according to standards

This program meets the needs for all the visitors of the motorway surface, except for the

station of fuelling. It must thus be accessible independently from the restaurant.

External installation: terrace 150 places


-A hotel (with propositions of rest per 4 hours for the travellers)

30 double-bedded rooms with wash-hand basin, WC, shower

Hall, reception 90 m2

Reception 30 m2

Offices 40 m2

Room of conference (divisible in 4) 165 m2

Office 25 m2

Deposit 40 m2

Dining room 100 m2

-Carpark 20 places

-A base of leisure

Who makes it to all the ages possible to revive the legs, with various possibilities of sports


- A zone of relieving

- A zone for camp-siting

- A car-wash

- A communication space connected to the Net

- A car-park with variable geometry, with plug of refill of battery

This carpark must make it possible to or not take various geometries according to periods’

of strong multitude of tourism.

Places of park:

-250 places for the private cars

- 30 places for the heavy lorries

- 30 places motor bikes

- 10 places coaches


Winner of the 2006 Renault competition for the highway rest area of tomorow


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