2/02/2012

Exhibition: Lyon Confluence, Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine, Paris

The Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine, a museum located in Paris, recently showed Lyon Confluence and its regeneration across models, maps, texts, slideshows, photographs, stage design, panoramas conceived by Thierry Bazin, a video installation by Marin Kasimir and an art project by Felice Varini. This exhibition shows a Grand Lyon which envisages an attractive place to live, work, shop and enjoy.
Lyon Confluence Exhibition, Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine, Paris — Model. Credit Photo: Grégoire L.
for Urban Lab Global Cities

As cities are growing in areas and population at unprecedented rates, whether they be developing cities or developed cities, as cities are involved in a unprecedented competition, with a trend in a de-industrualization in a number of cities and a rapid economic growth of emerging cities.
Lyon Confluence Exhibition, Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine, Paris. Photo credit: Gregoire L. for
Urban Lab Global Cities

Cities upgrade their urban environment so that not only will they provide a better quality of life for their dwellers and companies but also they will be able to withstand deep change. This is the case of Lyon, a city located in the east-central France, between Paris and Marseilles.
Lyon Confluence Exhibition, Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine, Paris. Photo credit: Gregoire L. for
Urban Lab Global Cities

Little Lyon's estimates a population of 480,660 inhabitants on a land area of  47.95 square kilometers. The population density is about 10,077 per square kilometers, roughly comparable to Milan. Its urban area is 954.19 square kilometers with approximately 1,422,331 people and its metropolitan area 3,306 square kilometers and a population of 2,118,132.
Lyon Confluence — Aerial view © Herzog & de Meuron - Michel Desvigne Paysagiste/SPLA Lyon Confluence. Originally appeared on Lyon Confluence

And Lyon is renewing with a probable ambition of strengthening its role as an ecocomical key to Paris. It is certain that when analyzing global cities, cities such as Osaka/Tokyo, Chicago/New York/Washington-DC-Baltimore/Dallas/Atlanta/Los Angeles/Philadelphia, Rome/Milan, Berlin/Frankfurt/Dusseldorf are regularly quoted, to name a few. Yet when quoting French cities, it is often limited to Paris. Accordingly, it will be unsurpringly that Lyon's regeneration aims at playing a more important role, becoming internationally more attractive and competitive. Lyon is a middle-scale city yet very ambitious if we look at this program of urban renewal.
Lyon Confluence — Aerial View © Desvigne Conseil/SPLA Lyon Confluence. Originally
appeared on Lyon Confluence

Lyon is driven by topographical constraints, specifically derelict lands. It used to be an industrial city. In a post-industrial era and post-recession economy, Lyon, like The Grand Lille (Greater Lille) and the Grand Paris (Greater Paris), accordingly raises this question: how change and rejuvenation can enhance territory, economy as well as quality of life of developed cities?
Lyon Confluence — Le marche de gros vu depuis le sud-est © Jacques Leone (Grand Lyon). Originally appeared on
Lyon Confluence

Moreover, Lyon does not have the ambition of a scrap and build like some Asian cities. As a result, the city must address various important factors from enduring legacy, architectural historic character and identity, geography to economy, cultural and social accountability.
Lyon Confluence Exhibition, Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine, Paris. Photo credit: Gregoire L. for
Urban Lab Global Cities

Since a decade, the Lyon Confluence, a territory of 150 hectares, has been regenerating this territory with a wide range of programme of urban redevelopments, and the participation of architects from Coop Himmelb[l]au, MVRDV, Massimiliano Fuksas, Kengo Kuma to Odile Decq and Tania Concko. Let us quote some of these projects:
Lyon Confluence Exhibition, Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine, Paris. Photo credit: Gregoire L for
Urban Lab Global Cities


  • The blocks consisting of varied types of buildings and functions from housing and offices to retails, from low-rise structures to higher structures; In such a country as France who suffers from a lack of housing, Lyon attempts to provide new stocks of housings to its inhabitants and to attract new inhabitants. Housing aside, offices and retails are also targeted. The aim is to allow for sustainable mixed-used areas flexible enough and easily accessible to all the inhabitants; 
  • Garden courtyards, or open spaces with green features, paths, fountains providing walkable spaces for pedestrians. Apparently, the aim is to provide a walkable place and combining walkability and mixe-use;
  • Water supply: the creation of a system of knots that combines historical and current conditions of the confluences to manage rainwater. Here, unfortunately, in a world threatened by global warming, as Lyon's population undoubtly increases and requests for more resources, it is certain that Lyon will be confronted with water issues. Consequently, more precision will be welcomed for long-term water sustainability;
  • Vegetation: A composition of, among others, waterbank trees, dry or wet grassland, young shrub willows. In few words: how to infuse a landscape change to reinvent Lyon Confluence urban territory; 
  • Built fabric: The Field will consist of a complex of buildings: from low-rise to higher building (from three to eight stories) to house housing and business activities. More specifically, a mix of offices, housing, shops and services; 
  • Infrastructure and pathways: Development of travel-infrastructure elements: shared roadways, walkways;  
  • Links: existing travel infrastructure, new bridges, new streets and new pedestrian routes aiming at making access to The Confluence easier and connecting the scheme to the rest of the city.

Lyon Confluence Exhibition, Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine, Paris. Photo credit: Gregoire L. for
Urban Lab Global Cities

This urban project is led by Herzog & de Meuron and Michel Desvigne Paysagiste. The first phased is completed. The second phase is under construction although some projects are already completed such as the Monolithe designed by MVRDV Team. Lyon Confluence is scheduled to be completed by 2015.
Monolithe, Lyon © MVRDV Team, SPLA Lyon Confluence. Originally appeared on
Lyon Confluence

The aim is clear: the city seeks to attract new dwellers and companies of the tertiary sectors and cultural events.
Lyon Confluence Exhibition, Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine, Paris. Photo credit: Gregoire L. for
Urban Lab Global Cities

As mentioned above, Lyon will play a considerable role not only in terms of economics, social as well as cultural, not only at a local level but also at a global level. Smart growth seems to drive this Lyon Confluence urban regeneration.
Lyon Confluence Exhibition, Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine, Paris. Photo credit: Gregoire L. for
Urban Lab Global Cities

Some points nevertheless remain unclear. Let us quote one. In a city like Lyon which is mainly car-dependent (47%) but envisages a reduction of CO2 emissions by improving mobility (Public transport: 15%, Bicycle: 2%, TER (trains): 1%) including the recent Car2go aiming to target car-dependent use, and with the gasoline prices that will continue to go up due to oil scarcity, it will be interested to see if Lyon Confluence will inaugurate a low-car lifestyle. In this case, Grand Lyon aims at linking quality of life to quality of place.
Lyon Confluence Exhibition, Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine, Paris. Photo credit: Gregoire L. for
Urban Lab Global Cities

Lyon Confluence's goal might be to plan and design, better, to reinvent its territory, say, to respond to this question: how can derelict lands be transformed into community assets?
Lyon Confluence Exhibition, Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine, Paris. Photo credit: Gregoire L. for
Urban Lab Global Cities

A question that must be posed is as follows: if Lyon Confluence proposes 'consilient' urban territory, a sustainably urban area that taps social, economics, cultural and environmental dynamics playing off one another, it will be a first step toward a higher quality of life for Lyon's inhabitants. As urban health and well-being are now integrated to urban policies, it will be interesting to measure Lyon Confluence, in particular, its quality of life, health, well being of the population and its quality of the territory, when completed.
Lyon Confluence Exhibition, Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine, Paris. Photo credit: Gregoire L. for
Urban Lab Global Cities

Lyon Confluence Exhibition, at Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine, until January 29th 2012.




1 comment:

Andrew K Green said...

Does anyone know the architect of the concrete and timber housing project in Lyon Confluence?!

Its the 11th image down entitled; "Lyon Confluence Exhibition, Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine, Paris. Photo credit: Gregoire L. for
Urban Lab Global Cities"

Pageviews last month