The Grand Paris Express (GPE) project is now well underway, thanks to which the Ile-de-France will implement 200 kilometres of new tracks and 68 new interconnected stations by 2030. To make this plan a reality, Société du Grand Paris (SGP), the company set up to manage the public project, launched a public tender, at the end of which Lea was awarded 50% of the supply of ceramic surfaces necessary for the project, that is, more than 110,000 square metres of product that will be used for the flooring and wall covering of no less than 28 stations.
For their realisation, it was necessary to have an industrial material with very high resistance and technical performance. In addition, the essential condition for the choice of partners was that the proposed system of materials, i.e. the set of screed, glue, ceramic slab, cement joint and expansion joints, obtained the ATEx certification (Appréciation Technique d’Expérimentation). Specifically, it is a technical evaluation procedure on innovative products or solutions, thanks to which it is certified that the materials are recognised in accordance with the law through an authentication document issued exclusively by the Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment (CSTB). For the specific order, therefore, Lea Ceramiche participated in the tender together with a consortium of other companies - Mapei, CS Group and Pedrazzini - which will provide the remaining necessary materials.
In response to the awarding of the tender, starting from May 2022 Lea Ceramiche has supplied the slabs for the Orly airport station - which falls under the control of ADP (Aéroport de Paris) - covering over 7,000 square metres of surface of what will be one of the most important stations and where lines 14 (opening scheduled for 2024) and 18 (opening scheduled for 2027) of the capital’s Métro will pass.
The Grand Paris Express Project is currently the largest infrastructure project in Europe. These are 4 new railway lines and also provides for the extension of existing Métro lines, as well as a general improvement of the public transport system of the Ile-de-France region.
Out of a total of 200 km of track, 90% will be underground and equipped with fully automated trains that will carry over 2 million passengers a day, connecting the centre of Paris to today’s most distant suburbs. The construction site, opened in 2020, will be active until 2030 and is an integral part of the project that allowed Paris to win hosting the 2024 Olympic Games.
By virtue of its very high value in terms of new standards of innovation in the field of urban design and the construction of sustainable territories, early in the year the project won the 14th Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design, the most important biennial prize awarded by Harvard University that recognises exemplary urban design plans that have been constructed worldwide in the last 10 years.
In this regard, Emilio Mussini, Chairman of Panariagroup, commented:
“We are proud to be participating in this project for transforming one of the most important European capitals and that has won an acclaimed award like the 14th Veronica Rudge Green Prize, awarded by one of the world’s most prestigious universities, Harvard. Lea Ceramiche is one of our reference brands, recognised as the crown jewel of Made in Italy in architecture and interior design. With Lea Ceramiche, in France, we have already collaborated with renowned designers such as Norguet and Nigro, and participated in important public and private supplies, including covering for the Paris Métro stop at Porte de Versailles, McDonald’s, Okko, and Société Générale. The contract for Grand Paris Express further recognises Panariagroup as the ideal partner for major projects on an international scale. Thanks to our ability to offer cutting-edge technical solutions unique in the sector, today we are able to look with optimism at our position on the international market and, in particular, the French one. It is no coincidence that for the 4th year, Lea Ceramiche has opened a temporary showroom in Paris where professionals in the sector will be able to get to know the brand, in line with the desire of the brand and Panariagroup to consolidate and develop its presence in France.”