This anonymous drawing was certainly produced for the competition of 9 October 1912 for first year students at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. On this occasion, the students were in fact given a "harbour station" as a subject. There were monthly competitions at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts as a complement to the lectures. These were in fact a central part of the educational method and were intended to train the future architects in handling a project by requiring them to give an architectural response to a written programme. These competitions therefore were an opportunity for many variations based on the great architectural classifications of the time, from theatres to churches, from hospitals to palaces.
Like many others, this project was inspired by the Orsay railway station built by Victor Laloux between 1898 and 1900, now the Musée d'Orsay. The layout of the building seems to be very similar to that in the programme for the competition because of its riverside location. In his drawing the student has picked up the rhythm of the arcades on Laloux's facade, as well as incorporating a metal roof to allow natural lighting from above.