Void Space: How Subtraction Defines the Architecture of Lyon

Space gives architecture definition. Few cities showcase this idea like Lyon, France. Located in the country’s Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, France’s third-largest city has become a major center for banking and start-ups. From the expansive Parc de la Tête d’Or to Place Bellecour square, Lyon’s urban fabric is characterized by openings and thoroughfares. Today, the city’s contemporary architecture emphasizes this condition through subtraction. Building volumes are increasingly designed around expressive and functional voids, negative spaces that shape daily life. Captured by both fenestration and massing, these spaces center on human experience. Showcasing Lyon and its approach to subtraction, we’ve gathered together the following commercial and cultural projects across the city. Exploring the relationships between program and envelope, sequence and boundary, they represent a dynamic design culture. Each combines negative space with vivid colors, rhythmic structure and diverse scales. The designs embrace context while reinterpreting it, providing new frameworks for life to unfold. Le Monolithe MGA by MANUELLE GAUTRAND ARCHITECTURE, Lyon, France Le Monolithe was designed as part of a larger, five-part development in Lyon. Formed around sustainable and energy-efficient office design strategies, the project is juxtaposed by different programs and rental housing within a ...
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