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Rector Lesage


Precast elements at the top of the volcano

With its 1,465m, the Puy de Dôme is the highest volcano in the Puys mountain range in the French department of Auvergne. Not only the breathtaking view from the summit itself is exceptional, but also the architecture and the construction method of the mountain station.

Sustainability in action

Where not long ago up to 380,000 visitors used to climb to the summit by shuttle bus, a state-of-the-art rack railway now transports tourists to the mountain summit in a sustainable manner. In this way, over 35 years, more than 5,250 tonnes of CO2 can be saved. The bus parking areas have been renaturalised and even the mountain railway station is hidden underground to restore the summit, at least in part, to its natural state. The underground station provides shelter from the extreme weather for up to 1,000 visitors at a time, while offering a magnificent view of the surrounding mountain peaks.

Due to the challenging logistics and the unpredictability of the weather, precast elements were used for the mountain station. The concrete elements were prefabricated to the highest quality in factory buildings and transported to the construction site. This facilitated the logistics considerably, increased the precision and quality of the concrete parts and enabled production independent of the weather.

Rector Lesage appreciates PLANBAR for wall design

The company Rector Lesage was responsible for the walls of the mountain railway station, relying entirely on the CAD software Planbar from Allplan. The company has been active in the concrete industry since 1953 and is based in Mulhouse (France). Rector specialises in the production of prestressed and reinforced concrete floor elements, walls and structural elements. Rector Lesage produced approximately 3,600 m² of double walls for the rack railway station. These were erected in a slightly circular arc shape and now form the reception, the circulation area, the outer walls and the station platform.

Project data:
  • Railway station for 380,000 tourists per year
  • Rack railway instead of buses saves 150 tonnes of CO2 annually
  • 3,600 m² of circular double walls