Tag Archives: Jardin Atlantique

Paris Wanderlust: A Park atop a Train Station

A Park atop a Train Station

If you have time to kill before catching your train at Gare Montparnasse, Jardin Atlantique provides a peaceful respite from the hurry-scurry of a major train hub. You don’t even have to cross a street to get there — Jardin Atlantique lies directly above the maze of corridors and platforms of Gare Montparnasse.

Below, an aerial view of the park from the Observation Deck of the adjacent Tour Montparnasse, with train tracks trailing to the south. The west side of the park features tennis courts and table tennis, while the paths of the east side connect themed garden “rooms.”

Jardin Atlantique, Place des Cinq Martyrs du Lycée Buffon (15e)

Jardin Atlantique, surrounded on three sides by prosaic office buildings, might not look like much from above. However, a stroll around the park reveals a surprising variety of trails, plants, and sculptural walls. Below, a boardwalk passes through the Room of Waving Grasses:

Salle des plants ondoyantes

A relatively new addition to Paris’ green spaces, Jardin Atlantique was created in 1994.

An elevated boardwalk:

The park commemorates the historic role of Gare Montparnasse in connecting Paris with the northwest coast of France. Below, the wavy blue fence and pine trees evoke the coast of Brittany.

The lamp posts along the sunning deck suggest the masts of a ship.

A sculptural wall in the Room of Blues and Mauves:

Salle des bleus et mauves

The circular Room of Silence:

Salle du silence

A pool reflects the natural surroundings of the park. It also provides a watery window into a corridor where travelers pulling luggage navigate the limbo of the train station.

Ping pong tables and tennis courts along the western side.

A fountain sculpture in the center of the park:

Jean-Max Llorca, Fontaine des Hesperides

A viewing platform (in case you don’t have time for the Observation Deck at the top of Tour Montparnasse):

There’s more to explore in Jardin Atlantique. Hopefully I’ll be in Paris again, with time to kill waiting for a train . . .

Next: Fences & Benches

Camille Martin

Paris Wanderlust: Fences & Benches

Fences & Benches

Paris outdoes even herself in transforming mundane street and park furniture into vehicles of elevated consciousness. In Jardin Joan-Miró, ordinary park benches metamorphose into enigmatic sculptures that are also familiar and useful.

Jardin Joan-Miró (13e)

Ditto the undulating layers of this sidewalk bench:

Benches in the form of open books invite a meta-reading experience:

Square Gabriel-Pierné, 5 Rue de Seine (5e)

Fences also have captured the imagination of artists, as in the spectacular Birds of Passage gracing a vocational high school. It was created by teachers and their students, and inspired by the lyrics of a song by Georges Brassens.

Les Oiseaux de Passage, Lycée Professionnel Chennevière Malézieux, 33 Avenue Ledru-Rollin (12e)

Bas-reliefs of celebrated persons who lived in the Grands-Moulins neighbourhood, such as Louise Bourgeois and Olivier Messiaen, enlighten an otherwise nondescript fence at Diderot University:

Rue en-Faces (13e)
Signed bas-relief of French composer Olivier Messiaen

Below, the angles of the fence echo the geometrical theme of the Tour Triangle complex beyond (under construction):

1 Place de la Porte de Versailles (15e)

Tour Triangle is a pyramid-shaped skyscraper to be built at the southern border of the City of Paris. The triangular structure in the distance (above) isn’t that tower (as I first thought), but rather a monumental canopy at the entrance to a pavilion. The Tour Triangle itself hadn’t yet risen as of 2019. More about the enormous and controversial undertaking of Tour Triangle in a later post.

While we’re at Tour Triangle, here’s some edgy seating on the grounds:

Eye-catching bridge railing at Jardin Joan-Miró:

40 Rue Gandon (13e)

Below, I’m reposting two wavy-line fences of Jardin Atlantique, the park above Gare Montparnasse. They seem to epitomize Paris’ talent for creating public spaces that are stylistically contemporary but that also memorialize the past. The waves and pine trees evoke the scenery of Brittany, which was historically connected to Paris by a railway leading to Gare Montparnasse.

Jardin Atlantique, Place des Cinq Martyrs du Lycée Buffon (13e)

“Scribbled grass” fence at Les Halles:


Below, a lovely low fence at Jardin de la Place Souham. Like a shadow lantern, the fence’s perforations create meditative patterns on the stone walkway, as do the tall backlit grasses.


Mock log railings add counterfeit rusticity to Parc Montsouris:

2 Rue Gazan (14e)

I’ll end this post with an unassuming apartment complex that has been transformed by park benches and greenery into an inviting place to call home.

Next: Hillside Parks

Camille Martin