Rochetaillée Banks of the Saone

designed by /

Location: France / Lyon / Type: Bridges and Piers / Parks / Riverbanks / Built: 2013 /
Show on Google Maps / Published on September 1, 2016

IN SITU: North of Lyon, the site of Rochetaillée stretches across 2 km on the left bank of the Saône River. This internal bank protected from currents, opens onto a view of the Monts d’Or and sketches a long, convex curve, punctuated by pebble and sandy beaches. In the beginning of the 20th century, it was Lyon’s favorite working class beach, with its open-air cafés and dance halls. The tradition lasted for years, but cars have since confiscated lots of space: the departmental road severed connections with the village, and off-road parking was extended.


The major challenge of this project was to reveal the presence of the old dike and to re-establish the continuity of a gentle promenade on the haul road. Traffic circulation was reduced and calmed in order to preserve a path shared by pedestrians and cyclists. The weakened banks were shored up by a brilliant use of vegetation. Cross-sectional views of the landscape, the village and the chateau were re-established. The central space was reconfigured to form the large siesta meadow that gently descends to the river. This riparian meadow can also host concerts and various open-air shows. Lounge chairs are formed using grassy taluses and large tables await picnickers.

A progression of scenes unfolds along the banks and forms a sort of cinematic tracking shot: haul road, playground, beaches and meadows, meanders of the river, beach paths, dance halls and fishing piers. The route is marked with several artistic installations: the stairs to nowhere of Lang and Baumann, the meteorite of Gentil Garçon, the perched hut of Kawamata, and the two large mirrors of Faustino. Each of these works creates a unique perspective on the landscape. This global artistic route, called the “river movie”, unfolds over seven other sequences of the Rives de Saône.

Project Data

Location: Rochetaillée, Rhône (69), France
Landscape Architecture: IN SITU Paysages et urbanisme (mandataire), Emmanuel Jalbert, directeur d’études
Sinbio génie végétal
OGI Ouvrages et études d’impacts
LEA éclairagiste
Commissioned by: Grand Lyon
Area: 6 Hectars
Period of design: 2011
Implementation period: 2012-2013
Budget: 5,2 M euros HT

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