The monolith, Lyon Islands

The Project

The monolith is a real urban ensemble sited on the C island in the new Conflence quarter to the south of the Lyon peninsula between the Saone and the Rhone.

It is part of the LyonIsland project designed to increase the housing quota in this part of the Lyon peninsula whilst at the same time trying to respect the social mix requirements and new environmental legislation. The monolith is part of the High Environmental Quality building scheme for residential, office and commercial premises. Compact, and laid out around a central courtyard with access from three monumental doors, five architectural teams each shared a part of the project.

Unlike other areas, the part assigned to Manuelle Gautrand opens onto the wooded side of the Saone valley and comprises a bridge which lowers on to the central courtyard. The gable of this overhangs the monumental porch and its beams which project a helix floral motif. The facades and soffits of the bridge are in Uginox Bright stainless steel which reflected in the garden. The stainless elements are classic blade shapes which interlock one into the other. Industrially produced they are perfectly flat with easy fixing. 

In her book « those I have (already) built Maunuelle Gautrand writes: 

The project consists of constructing a 28000m² island in the Confluence area of Lyon, with an arrangement of housing, offices and commercial premises.

We were part of a team of five distinct architects, temporarily coming together to work on this project.

The objective, faced with this powerful sought after volume was to imagine a common master plan, an urban and architectural challenge which brought us all together under one coherent building concept with a strong visual identity.

From this single volume, each architect found their inventive area and developed one of the parts from the common whole. Our part was essentially made up of offices, laid out in a sculpted  voluminous format to form a huge antagonism above the internal street which looked out onto the large central park as though to absorb it. The facades are clad in Uginox bright mirror sheets

Most of which are crafted to form large helixes which sketch out the imaginary flowers, a reminder of the park on to which the Monolith opens out. The mirror finish allows the multiple reflections of the countryside opposite, lightening the antagonistic roof which fades into the reflections and creating a kaleidoscope area, somewhat imaginary in the middle of this architectural rigour.

Advantages of Stainless Steel 


> a bright finish which reflects the countryside, the garden as well as also expanding the area


> industrially produced sections at an optimal price


> a stainless steel grade perfectly adapted to the lyonnaise environment

> a finish bringing an identity to the whole area and an imposing size.


Technical Data

Manuelle Gautrand

Stainless Steel Information

Uginox Bright
0,80 mm