The project takes place under the railway tracks of the Part-Dieu station, in the busy passage of “Boulevard Stalingrad” in Lyon.

The morphology of the tunnel has some major particularities:

Its short length, the complexity of the pedestrian/car and parking circulation axes, but above all its low, highly offset ceiling, half made of metal (exposed beams) and half of concrete, strongly distinguishing the East-West and West-East traffic roads.

The heterogeneous side walls, with their thick and rough texture, serve as a guide; passers-by brush past them.

We will therefore retain:

  1. A materials duality : concrete and metal
  2. A structural duality: full and empty, smooth and hollow, metal and concrete
  3. A wide, low and short volume

The underpass is integrated into a dense, active urban fabric, and at the heart of a major network of soft modes (pedestrians, cycles). The participation of users therefore appeared to us to be essential in the process of creating the project.

The lighting of the railway bridge, which is used daily by users of the related facilities (college, high school, clinic, swimming pool, etc.), was designed in close collaboration with them in order to better understand their needs and expectations, and thus to design a project that could be easily appropriated by everyone.

The approach consisted in combining an artistic and poetic gesture with all the functional and technical constraints. Combine the constraints and not overlap them, and thus to achieve a coherent and legible project for all users, but also a viable and simple project in terms of maintenance.

We associated an artist known for her graphic and participative work, Marion Dutoit, who has taken charge of the overall composition of the fresco created for and with the inhabitants of the district (6th arrondissement of Lyon).

The concept of lighting ensures the safety of users, but also a “sentimental” appropriation of the railway bridge by users.

It allows the tunnel :

  1. to have its own identity, based on the coloured inversion of the planes (the top-bottom of the floor-ceiling, which is reversed in the middle of the tunnel)
  2. to bring magic and lightness under a massive structure
  3. to stop time, to propose a pause, a restrained movement, under the deafening noise of the trains passing overhead…

Indeed, we wanted to establish a link between the tunnel and the travel, the flight, through the lighting of the bridge… To create a magical “out-of-time” space, which reveals the coloured silhouettes of passers-by.

In the end… A playground or a nocturnal artistic project, “Fly away!” is above all an opportunity for introspection, crossroads, exchanges, and encounters…


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