With a population of approximately 2.2 million, the metropolitan area of Lyon is the second most populous of France, after Paris. It is also home to the country's largest business district outside the capital, known as Part-Dieu. More than 50,000 people work in the neighbourhood, spread out across 1.6 million square metres of office space. Driven by a strong demand for class A workspaces, the Part-Dieu district is witnessing a rapid expansion as new office towers are being planned for Lyon's 'second downtown' and gradually changing the city's horizon.

Lyon's skyline, image by Nicolas Arnaud-Goddet

Dominated for more than 30 years by the 165-metre Part-Dieu Tower — nicknamed 'The Pencil' due to its cylindrical shape and pyramidal crown — the skyline now has a new pinnacle. Delivered last December, the Tour Incity has become Lyon's tallest tower at 202 metres in height, thanks to a 50-metre spire installed by helicopter in June 2015. 

The north facade is the only one without a double skin, image by Nicolas Arnaud-Goddet

Designed by Valode & Pistre Architects, Incity is also the first downtown low-energy tower to be built in France. The building boasts a double skin with a separate reflective exterior veil covering its east, west, and south all-glass interior facades. In between the two glass panel layers, where air is able to circulate and further insulate the tower from extreme temperatures, adjustable brise-soleil allow for better control of the solar thermal input as well as the amount of natural light in the 2,700 workstations.

The base of the tower is close to completion, image by Nicolas Arnaud-Goddet

Over 90% of those workstations will benefit from direct sunlight, reducing the need for artificial light. The transparent glass used to wrap the tower also allows the employees to take in unobstructed views of the city and its surroundings. Tenants are expected to move in throughout January, with the French National Railway Company (SNCF) occupying 18 of the total 39 floors, and a bank's local branch moving 700 workers into the remaining levels.

Looking north towards Tour Incity, image by Nicolas Arnaud-Goddet

The tower exterior is equipped with an LED light system, ensuring its presence in the city's skies overnight while limiting its energy consumption. Several patterns, colour palettes, and luminous intensities are available in order to minimize light pollution. 

Tour Incity at night, image by Nicolas Arnaud-Goddet

What do you think about the design and impact of Tour Incity over Lyon? Let us know by leaving a comment at the bottom of this page or by visiting the dedicated Forum thread, where you'll find additional pictures. You can also find Lyon's other planned or under-construction skyscrapers in our Database