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A plan for pedestrian underpasses in Lyon

The use of colour in cities, especially in a city clearly displaying its past, both in its historical buildings and buildings of artistic significance, is always a problem. The use of colour, on the other hand, is extremely useful when intervening in areas that are used a lot but which receive little attention. The tunnels and pedestrian underpasses which we are all used to, are sometimes decorated with spontaneous graffiti that is not always artistic and, at times, verges on vandalism. Colour was used in Lyon to bring coordinated enhancement to these areas.

The iGuzzini luminaires provided valid solutions for some of these projects. With the support of EDF (energy production and supply company), the city of Lyon and Sytral commissioned three lighting design agencies to work on the redevelopment of three of the city's railway underpasses. Aurélien de Fursac, from the Latérale agency, worked on Rue des Émeraudes; Jerome Donna, (City of Lyon) worked on the Delandine underpass and the ON agency worked on Avenue Félix Faure. All three projects refer to the new lighting project for the Part Dieu neighbourhood. The design studios used iGuzzini products on two of these projects.

The railway underpass at Rue des Émeraudes is made up of a series of parallel straight lines. For the lighting designer Aurélien de Fursac, they follow the railway lines in a series of frames defined by the metallic girders, walls and road surface. With the use of light, the project reveals these leading lines transforming this place into a square of light. Passersby will have a chance to uncover the structure of the work and redefine its architectural perception. The rhythm and frequency of the lines are dictated by the work itself. The lighting designer worked on a shade of colour choosing the colour of an emerald with different shades, from brightest to darkest. The white lines from the Trick luminaire were used to overlap the indirect, blue coloured lighting from the Platea spotlights to create this effect. This gives the passerby the impression of walking through a perspective of 21 lit squares.

With the underpass at Avenue Félix Faure, on the other hand, the concept of the ON agency, is based on the use of colour, so that pedestrians are treated to something spectacular that transports them into another universe, offering them the possibility of detaching themselves from the materiality of the area: the light gives night its intrigue and colours. Pollock's "dripping" technique that he used on his canvases springs to mind when looking at the dashes of coloured light on the walls, achieved by using Woody spotlights and a special lens.

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  • Year
  • Client
    City of Lyon
  • Lighting project:
    For Rue des Émeraudes
    Agence Latérale - Aurélien de Fursac

    For the underpass at
    Avenue Félix Faure
    ON agency

    For the Delandine underpass
    Jerome Donna (City of Lyon)
  • Installer:
  • Photographer
    Michel Djaoui