Sur ses Épaules

On Their Shoulders

Program: Social Housing and Nursery in Lyon


Project Information:


Client: SPLA Lyon-Confluence 

Architect: Manuel Herz Architects, Basel

Project Team: François de Font-Reaulx

Photos: Yuri Palmin

Completion: 2017













 The design of the project is a homage to the buildings of Tony Garnier, the modernist architect who’s influence on Lyon is of tremendous importance. The design was specifically inspired by Hall Tony Garnier and the worker’s neighborhood “Quartier des Etats-Unis”.


This building has a nursery on ground floor and social housing in duplex apartments on top of it. The Residents live on the shoulders of the children. The setback of the upper floors produces a pyramidal structure that offers outside areas of high quality on all floors.

Responding to the specific situation of the building in the heart of the new urban block, the opening of the facades creates sunscreen in front of every apartment while at the same time producing a private, intimate and secure outdoor space. When closing these shutters, the building appears with a rhythmic facade, a sculptural and expressive quality. The movement of the louvers reflects the use and life in the building.

Each apartment is organized in duplex, offering privacy to living and giving each room its own 

Opening the louvers provides sun shading and creates a private space in front of every room.

Parents and children have their separate floors, giving each their own private world with every room having its own terrace.