Behind the scenes at blocks A1 and A2

In December 2015, Lyon Confluence and Bouygues Immobilier obtained the status of “Industrial Demonstrator for the Sustainable City” under the banner of Lyon Living Lab Confluence. They were selected as part of a Call for Expression of Interest launched by the French ministries of Ecology and Housing in October 2015. The innovations tested and approved at the Living Lab will be deployed in buildings in blocks A1 and A2 North. What are the specifics of this project? Let’s take a closer look.


An intricate project

The buildings located in the heart of the former market neighbourhood fit in with the urban landscape and the ground plan drawn up by Herzog & De Meuron, which specifies the rules and principles for the structures. To fine-tune these principles at blocks A1 and A2, Atelier Ruelle, the urban planner for the 2nd phase, created a “base file” that can be used for discussion between the architects, the developer and the planner to produce sketches.


A collaborative, international design process

The team of architects was selected in June 2016. It brings together:
- British agency David Chipperfield Architects, as project coordinator
- Portuguese studio Aires Mateus e Associados
- Lyon’s Vera et Associés Architectes
Landscape design of the garden courtyards was awarded to Belgian agency Wirtz International.
This team of designers, Bouygues Immobilier, Linkcity, SPL Lyon Confluence and the urban planners of Atelier Ruelle collaborated for six months during various workshops.
Applications for building permits will be submitted in October and November 2017. Work is scheduled to start in early 2018, with staggered delivery planned for 2020 and 2021.


Easy mobility and openness

The design of blocks A1 and A2 emphasises:
- the pedestrian experience and landscape continuity between public and private spaces
- open space allowing for natural light at ground-floor level
- easy movement between public spaces, buildings and garden courtyards
- strategic positioning of shops and activities to enliven the public spaces.

Three public squares will help achieve these goals. Fréderic Dard Square will be located to the north of the porched building that houses a concert hall. Conserving this building, which is destined to become the gateway to the neighbourhood, helps to preserve a part of the site’s heritage, like the market buildings to the south of block A2 North, where another public space for locals will be built. A third square will be created on the south side of block A1 South, at the foot of the future Girondins Bridge.

A public passageway will also be created. It will cross blocks A1, A2 and A3, and link Cours Charlemagne, Rue Smith, the shared parking area and Quai Perrache.

The main squares, as well as the corners of the smaller squares and the public passageway, will be enlivened with shops and various activities at ground level.


An innovative, balanced program

Each block will feature an innovative program based on a specific theme.

- collective, community gardens and rooftop terraces
- 100% customizable housing

- the courtyard as a gathering place and reception area for offices
- rooftop terraces accessible to and shared by employees and inhabitants

- health centre
- a Zen garden for well-being in the city

Functional diversity
16,000 sq. m. of housing
13,000 sq. m. of office space
2,500 sq. m. of shops and businesses

Social diversity
8,800 sq. m. of fully customizable housing at market prices, including 800 sq. m. of participative housing units
4,100 sq. m. of low-income rental units
2,300 sq. m. of rent-controlled housing units
800 sq. m. of housing units for low-income first-time buyers


sq. m. total

Delivery date



Building height

A1-A2 North blocks, phase 2, ZAC 2, architecture, high-rise building 

Along the Rhône: 7 and 8 floors high

In the heart of the neighbourhood: 4 to 6 floors high

Two buildings will be 16 floors high. One of them will be mixed-use (9 floors of market-price housing on top of 6 floors of office space and ground-floor shops).


31,500 sq. m. total

Blocks A1-A2 North (phase sketch - March, 2017)