H&deM designed the master plan of Confluence for the Rhone river side (ZAC II) between 2009 and 2011 and has being supervising the urban development since then. The project proposes 14 “îlots” of approximately 100 buildings mixing uses and typologies. Îlot A3 is the first “îlot” in the new Confluence district “Quartier du Marché” to be developed as a pioneer for the entire area. H&deM acted as “Architecte en Chef d’Îlot” for the translation of urban guidelines into architecture.
Ilot A3 consists on an open bloc of 8 buildings with housing, offices and retail designed by 6 offices including AFAA, Tatiana Bilbao, Manuel Herz, Christian Kerez, H&deM and Michel Desvigne as landscape architect. In the center of the bloc there is a courtyard with a day care. The introduction of 16 floor high towers in the master plan offers simultaneously the possibility to keep a relative high density as well as having small-scale buildings of 3 stories. Thus, it provides a variation of urban scales within the same bloc.
The residential tower on Îlot A3 is designed by Herzog & de Meuron. The volume is a simple extrusion defined by rounded loggias in the corners. The curved mineral facade has single and repetitive square openings. Its appearance relates to the very structured and homogenous facades of the buildings in the old town of Lyon. As opposed to the curves of the concrete, windows and sunshades are combined in a polygonal metallic frame specifically developed for the project. Their position follows the rectilinear grid of the floorplan. The geometry of the metallic window frames offers the possibility to use the shading system when the tilting window is open.