ARCHITECTURAL QUALITY

AUDACITY AND HERITAGE: DESIGNING LA CONFLUENCE

Contemporary, multi-purpose, rigorous... three words to describe the architecture of La Confluence. Each in their own way, architects have risen to the challenge of revitalising this neighbourhood, creating excitement and enhancing quality of life.

PRESERVING HISTORY AND HERITAGE

The Lyon Confluence project does not intend to make a clean sweep of the past, but rather to immerse itself in the past and preserve the soul of the area, rising to the challenge of reconciling logistics, port or industrial heritage with new uses. On the banks of the Saône, the Docks have retained their unique architectural character through the rehabilitation and change of use of the premises: La Sucrière, the Pavillon des Douanes, the former dockmaster's office, the Salins, etc.

On the Rhône side, several halls of the former wholesale market have been rehabilitated (Halle Girard, the Flower Market, Halle C5, etc.) for contemporary uses: digital incubator, Maison de La Confluence, a school, sports centre, design school, etc.

Halle Girard, the future symbol of French Tech by Philippe Beaujon, Vurpas Architectes

The former St. Paul’s and St. Joseph’s prisons have been transformed to become "Life at its Most Open", a program combining housing, offices, shops and the Catholic University of Lyon. 40% of the historic buildings have been preserved, including the chapel, which has been converted into a concept store. Wall drawings made by Ernest Pignon-Ernest in 2012 were saved. The artist is one of the founding figures of urban art in France.

PROMOTING ARCHITECTURAL AUDACITY

Every year, Lyon Confluence invites architects to contribute their unique identity. International figures such as David Chipperfield, Tania Concko, Coop Himmelblau, Massimiliano Fuksas, Jacques Herzog & Pierre de Meuron, Kengo Kuma, Jacob&MacFarlane, Jean Nouvel, Christian de Portzamparc, etc., have been invited. But also, French or Lyon-based talents such as Emmanuel Combarel, Odile Decq, Lipsky-Rollet, Rudy Ricciotti, Stéphane Véra, Clément Vergély, Jean-Michel Wilmotte, and many others.

On the Saône side, the audacity of architectural works is clear, like the orange and green cubes or the ABC blocks inspired by naval architecture.

On the Rhône side, the urban designer’s choice is more tame. Shades of white, from concrete to natural materials such as raw earth. Uniform colour combined with a diverse range of heights (from 2 to 16 floors).

RECONCILING AESTHETICS, COMFORT AND INNOVATION 

Sunshine, greenery, winter and summer comfort, energy management, views, materials, façades, etc. These are all challenges for architects working on Lyon Confluence. The objective? Beyond the architectural aesthetics, to have a real comfort of use and high environmental quality adapted to climate change.

On the Rhône side, these ambitions are particularly evident in the creation of "Ynfluences Square." In this second phase of development, with more refined and homogeneous aesthetics using shades of white, diversity comes from the differences in height and the detail of the façades, windows or balconies. Taller buildings, like the Belvy and Ycone have sprung up in this sector.

In the "Ydeal" program, long-term comfort of use is also a priority thanks to innovations such as a building made from rammed earth or reversible constructions. What is an office today can become a home tomorrow and vice versa. 

The project is bold and innovative.  This is the conviction shared by the developer (Bouygues Immobilier), the architects (Chipperfield, Aires Mateus, Stéphane Vera), the planner and the urban designer for the "Sollys" program. The innovations at La Confluence, within the framework of Eurêka Confluence, will help to change regulations for a smarter and more resilient city

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