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How to regenerate the city ?

« How to regenerate the city » is a challenge organized by VICAT Group. It invites multidisciplinary students teams (architecture, town planning, landscape, engineers) to draw up sustainable town renewal/regeneration projects, from the Mermoz-South district, currently under redevelopment. 

Date of the news: February 2018

It falls within an approach initiated and supported by the Lyon Architecture Biennial and is part  of the brainstorming workshop on architecture, town and landscape planning processes. Vicat’s aim is to highlight the assets of our concrete heritage, leading tomorrow’s town planners to think about concrete rehabilitation, putting into question its functionality and use. 


« It seemed obvious to us to support an innovative reflection/thinking about the decrease of buildings environmental impact, through an extension of their lifespan and an improvement of their inhabitants’ comfort.” explains Corinne Arpin, Vicat Solution Prescriber & Marketing  behind this challenge.


« How to regenerate the city » has been thought in association with ENSAL, INSA, ENTPE, ENSP and the mention of Master VEU (through LabEx IMU). The commitment of Lyon Metropole and Great Lyon Habitat teams ensured a thinking based on the reality of social collective buildings, in a district of Lyon currently under redevelopment : Mermoz South. 

After 4 months of an intense teamwork  between students and workshops with sector experts, four proposals have been selected on January 26th. These 4 projects will take part in the final, on april 24th, at Lyon Metropole.


The nominees’ list shows how multifaceted the project is : 

  • Terra Terre proposes botanical walls for the district, combining fauna and flora into a porous concrete as habitat support. Behind this autonomous ecosystem dynamic, the aim is to create a new social dimension, involving the inhabitants into the project; 
  • Mμ Tabilité(s) offers flat extensions based on additional modules on various parts of the buildings. This facade technology innovates through the setting up an exoskeleton enabling the quick fastening of the modules and thus minimizes the works on existing buildings. This project makes building changes easier, matching the social and environmental needs.
  • Mermoz.net plans a vertical reorganization of the blocks of Mermoz South district, to consider the housing in terms of volume and not in floor surface, thus offering  two levels of flats instead of four. For this project, students developed a concrete mesh made of tesserae, combined with fibers : an alternative to the use of precast concrete or poured concrete.
  • Public’s favourite, Brownfield site Dynamic Process  gives a different outlook on construction sites, through a process of temporary reuse of vacant buildings, thanks to short-term cellular concrete aesthetic walls. The goal is double : overlapping the phases of rehousing and demolition and reboosting the district with recreationwalls (Climbing walls, football nets, bubbles…)

This program aims at becoming the trigger in new collaborative methods in architectural and urban rehabilitation.    “the foundation stone of a precious cooperation between the industrial world, academic world and Public Commission  to develop  an innovative approach of territories”.says  Mr Didier PETETIN, Deputy Chief executive officer of Vicat Group


Crédits photos : Christophe Pouget