Moving towards new horizons

The Perrache district, is part of the Sainte Blandine neighbourhood and is renowned for both its rail station and its old prisons. The area was long seen as an obstacle between the two halves of the city centre peninsula in La Confluence. However, it is now being transformed into a nerve centre and is opening up to the city. The two drivers behind the change are the multi-modal transport station, which is currently undergoing transformation, and the Université Catholique de Lyon, which opened at the beginning of the academic year 2015.


confluence, lyon, parakeet, celp, little parakeet, aerial view

The sector began its transformation with the creation of a new public space, the Place des Archives, inaugurated in 2010. A massive renovation project followed in the old Saint Paul and Saint Joseph prisons, decommissioned in 2009. They are now home to the Université Catholique de Lyon and a housing scheme promoting intergenerational diversity. The transformation is epitomized by the La Vie Grande Ouverte (Life Wide Open) programme, run by the Université Catholique de Lyon, OPAC du Rhone, Habitat et Humanisme and the property group SOFADE/OGIC and monitored by Lyon Confluence.

Saint Paul prison converted into a university

The Université Catholique de Lyon moved into its 35,000 sq. m. home in September 2015 and 6,000 students and 1,000 associates attend the university's new site every day. Its upper floors contain lecture theatres for teaching, while the ground floor is dedicated to student life. To the west the Saint Paul campus opens onto the Place des Archives and there is a constant flow of students from place Carnot, where the Université Catholique's second site is currently located. From 2020, students will be able to take  a pedestrianised western archway (Perrache station)  (see Close-up).

Saint Joseph home to diversity

Students do not have to go far to find accommodation. Opposite the campus, Saint Joseph offers 108 student rooms, 90 housing units for purchase, 65 social housing units and 25 other units reserved for convalescents. Solidarity is the keystone of this project. A desire to create diversity by bringing different populations together guided the allocation of space in Saint Joseph. Of the 25,000 sq. m. available, 11,000 sq. m. are now devoted to offices and services and 700 are given over to retail outlets. The two formerly separate buildings now form a single space serving a variety of the functions, which means that it is possible to study, work, and live, on the same site, or even simply go for a stroll through the gardens that cross it.









Work is due to begin on the Perrache multi-modal transport hub

the number of metres dedicated to the western archway for human-powered transport



The new face of the Perrache multi-modal transport hub

confluence, lyon, parakeet, celp, little parakeet, aerial view

The transformation of the multi-modal transport hub is down to the combined input of Greater Lyon, the SNCF Réseau (the French Rail Network), SNCF Mobilités - Gares et Connexions (SNCF Movement - Stations and Connections), Sytral (Lyon transport authority), Atelier Ruelle and SPL Lyon Confluence which carried out the general coordination. The first phase of redevelopment (2015-2019) was approved in July 2015 with a budget of €25 million. It includes the re-purposing of the western archway to eradicate automobile traffic, and the creation of a (partially) open-air {sustainable pathway}. The current entrance to the metro (line A), from the western archway near the Place Carnot square, will be enlarged. A second entrance to the south will make it easier to access the metro. The T2 tramway line will be extended to Cours Suchet. Cours Charlemagne will be dedicated to sustainable transport from the Place des Archives to Cours Suchet, and a ground floor traveller’s hall will also be created to on the south side of place des Archives. Work will begin in 2017 after a mandatory preliminary consultation period.