Urban development : Lyon Confluence swaps the color for the rigor

A dungeon of concrete light stands at the heart of the district of la Confluence, in Lyon. This residential tower of sixteen floors, with balconies round that jut out to the four corners, like turrets, dominates a small island compact of eight buildings of austere elegance, grouped around two courtyards. Inaugurated on may 18 by the president of the Metropolis of Lyon, David Kimelfeld (The Republic), this block, named Ynfluences Square by its developer Icade, mark a dramatic change of style to one of the most ambitious urban planning in France : the development of the Peninsula of Lyon, between the Rhône and the Saône, on 150 hectares, doubling the area of the city centre.

The first phase, begun in 2003 next to the Saône river, will be completed in the summer, after a total of 400 000 m2 built and 1.16 billion euros of investment-public and private – exposure to the municipal Archives recounts these fifteen years that have reshaped the landscape of lyon. The inauguration of Ynfluences Square embodies the launch of the second stage of the operation, beside the Rhone. “It is an island demonstrator, the standard meter of what will get built for ten years on the rest of the second phase “, claims Pierre Joutard, the director general of the public corporation local (SPL), Lyon Confluence, in charge of leading this development. “We wanted to write more wise, an architecture that is soothed, a return of the block to the lyon,” says Michel Le Faou, vice-president of the métropole, in charge of urban planning.

Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, the duo of swiss architects and urban designers to the world-wide reputation, have drawn the plan-mass, and defined the rules of the game throughout this second phase. They are also the architects of the tower and the coordinators of the small island Ynfluences Square, where five architects and one landscape architect. The least we can say is that the rigour swiss is the successor to the fireworks architectures…

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