STARTUPS

THE H7 EXPERIENCE FOR STARTUPS IN THE DIGITAL SECTOR

Transforming a former boiler-making factory into a digital innovation hub was the bold move made by H7, the emblematic venue for French Tech in Lyon. This unique space, connected to the quarter and the metropolitan area, offers 350 workstations for new companies and startups in digital technologies. And others as well!

Video H7 by Karine Dognin-Sauze

HOME: A TAILORED SOLUTION TO ACCELERATE THE GROWTH OF STARTUPS

H7 is housed in a converted boiler-making factory, Halle Girard, dating back to 1857. The project, led by the Groupe SO consortium and Arty Farty, led to the creation of office space covering 3,800 sq. metres for startups and for the French Tech ecosystem.  The idea is to offer these new companies support tailored to their requirements, to help them grow. Experts in design, financing, human resources, international markets and business, as well as Helpers, advise the entrepreneurs.  It’s also a way to experience an environment conducive to creativity and economic development in a quarter with a highly diverse ecosystem, populated by major corporations, small and medium-sized enterprises and training and education facilities. It’s a unique place that enhances the influence of the Lyon metropolitan area, in France and across the globe.

HEAT: 600 SQ. METRES, DEVOTED TO FOOD CULTURE

Another feature of H7 is HEAT: a venue devoted to food culture, run by 6 business, with a bar at the centre, under a metal frame roof. It’s open to everyone, whether they work at H7 or not. Bringing startups and a food hall together is a great way to promote new synergies and foster Food 2.0 projects. In this culinary laboratory, startups develop high-tech cooking tools, test their ideas out on co-workers and visitors to the food kiosks and get advice from the professionals of the incubator. This is sure to stimulate culinary creativity in the world of gastronomy in Lyon. 

HEAT is: 

  • a dining area covering 600 sq. metres
  • a culinary laboratory of 140 sq. metres
  • a bar
  • 150 chefs a year 
  • 4 kiosks

HEAT also hosts events on the theme of food culture.
See the calendar and programme 

HOST: FOR YOUR EVENTS

H7 has a vast event space covering 1,000 sq. metres, including a nave-like hall (740 sq. metres) able to accommodate up to 1,800 guests, as well as 3 areas measuring 190 sq. metres each that can be reserved for private use. Its name? HOST. The objective is to fuel the vitality of the digital ecosystem, by hosting seminars, workshops, hackathons, conferences, product launches, and more.

H7: UNIQUE HERITAGE

H7 is a concrete example of just how successful the Lyon Confluence project has been at bringing about transformation while conserving the area’s industrial heritage. The initial goal was to preserve 50% of the market building’s original architecture. The redevelopment was led by SPL Lyon Confluence, with Vurpas Architectes. 75% of the historic building was conserved, including a vast nave-like space that gives the building its identity.

“When you transform part of a city’s industrial heritage, first you have to think about the building’s potential and qualities. You need to start with the building and adapt the project to it - you should never force the project onto the building.”
Philippe Beaujon Vurpas Architectes

The roof, covered with photovoltaic panels, is very similar in shape to the historic one, with the original openings and metal framework preserved. The facade has been renovated, but not smoothed. The purpose of adding new openings and removing part of the sawtooth roofing was to open the building up to the surrounding environment. The only exception: the roof tiles had to be removed, because they wouldn’t have withstood the weight of the solar panels (1,600 sq. metres).The same heritage enhancement principles were applied to the new sections, such as the office area, where the industrial spirit of the place has been preserved by largely exposing cables, ducts and networks. 

Video H7 by its architect