Lyon Part-Dieu

The Lyon Part-Dieu shopping centre houses of a mixture of commercial, leisure and newly created public space. The design restructures each side of the mall, opening up the building to the street and adding a vast public roof garden. At the same time, through re-arranging the existing programme and replacing the old car park, MVRDV has vastly increased the usable space of the building; adding an extra 32,000m2 gross lettable area as well as considerable areas of public space. 


Location: Lyon, France

Year: 2013+

Client: Unibail-Rodamco

Program: Total 166,000m2 Retail and leisure, including parking

Budget: Undisclosed



As part of a wider urban plan for the area surrounding The Lyon Part-Dieu shopping centre, MVRDV's design focusses on integrating the building to its surrounding urban fabric and hopes to allow everyday life to permeate through it. The street is not only extended through the building via an east-west walkway but also over it by stairways and escalators that take users up and over the complex. MVRDV pushed to reconnect the shopping centre with the facilities in its immediate context. A rearrangement of terraces on the south façade provides a direct connection with the library, and the restructured main east entrance provides access to visitors arriving from the Part-Dieu train station; which is also due to be renovated. The public realm on the street level will extend onto the shopping centre itself, and by rearranging the rooftop, technical facilities and carparks. MVRDV created a series of large terraces and green spaces that are accessible directly from the street. Restaurants, bars and cinemas all spill out onto the terraces but are also independently accessed through covered escalators that navigate around and over the building.

In a move to enhance and improve the existing identity of the Part-Dieu development, MVRDV will revitalise the existing façade and reproduce it over the new structure and through gardens. To maintain the identity of the shopping centre, and at the same time try to reduce the construction footprint of the building, the existing façade panels will be redistributed throughout the design. The formerly beige concrete panels will receive a dirt repellent white coating, giving the façade a prolonged refreshed look. Where extensions are added to the building, the pattern of interwoven rectangles will continue over the new envelope eventually ‘evaporating’ as they converge at the entrance; a physical and symbolic gesture to the new opening up of the shopping centre. This evaporation of the façade, coupled with the redefinition of the spaces within and outside the building, looks to reconnect the Part-Dieu centre with not only its immediate surroundings but also to the wider area of Lyon. Views are created to the Metallic Tower and the city's Basilica Notre Dame de Fourvière from the roof garden. Following on with the idea of transparency and permeability throughout the scheme, glazed components cover the top level of structure, and glass openings, as well as stairwells, look down into the heart of the shopping centre.

This project, after Gaîté Montparnasse in Paris, is MVRDV’s second large-scale shopping centre renovation. Both transformations open up massive introverted structures that absorb life out of the city and connect them to their urban context. MVRDV sees many of these malfunctioning giants in European city centres that need re-socialising. Part-Dieu opens up the shopping centre, adds public space yet maintains the former quality of the architecture by reusing and revitalising the existing façade elements.

MVRDV won the competition to design the Lyon Part-Dieu Shopping Centre in 2013 and have since been working as a team alongside: project managers, Artelia; co-architects, SUD; Structural consultants VRD; engineering consultancy, WSP and Y Ingénierie; economist, Cyprium; and technical controllers, Socotec.

During the refurbishment, the centre remains open due to a sophisticated phasing scheme developed to minimize the impact of this transformation on the shopping experience. 



Design: MVRDV - Winy Maas, Jacob Van Rijs and Nathalie De Vries

Design team: Winy Maas, Frans de Witt, Bertrand Schippan with Catherine Drieux, Antoine Muller, Daniel Diez, Maxime Cunin, Irene Todero, Jean-Rémi Houel, Leo Stuckardt, Saskia Kok, Boris Tikvarski, Paul Mas, Paul Sanders, Julius Kirchert, Andrei Ducu Pedrescu, Karolina Szóstkiewicz, Marie-Aline Rival, Solène de Bouteiller, Ana Melgarejo Lopez, Clémentine Artru, Clémentine Bory, Davide Salamino, Maxime Richaud, Javier Cuenca, Severine Bogers, Marie Saladin, Francesco Barone and Pierre-Emmanuel Escoffier



Project managers: Artelia

Co-architects: SUD

Landscapist : BASE

Façade consultant : VP&Green

Fire security consultant : PCSI

Structural consultants: Y Ingénierie, WSP

Economist: Cyprium

Technical controllers: Socotec

Images: Kréaction 

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