Gensler has been named lead architect, in collaboration with Groupe-6, of this new multipurpose arena in Villeurbanne, France. The Villeurbanne-Lyon Arena project includes a 12,000 seat arena that incorporates Tony Parker Academy, a training academy for talented young basketball players. This mixed-use project is a large public plaza which fluidly transitions from arena, to public hall, to public transit facilities.
More on the Villeurbanne-Lyon Arena after the break.
The scheme is being developed in close affiliation with the city of Villeurbanne, in fact the by Société De Projet Salle Multifonction (SPSM ) within the city chose Gensler’s design. Villeurbanne is the suburb of France’s second-largest market, Grand Lyon, so it was important that this project achieve a certain esteemed archetype. Groupe-6, based in Grenoble, France, plays the role of developing the public assemblies in this project. Thier collaboration with Gensler is primarily to address design and regulatory concerns.
The program requires a high level of flexibility, which allows the arena to change from, say a concert, to a hockey game. The close proximity of seating to the main floor enables active audience involvement in basketball games, preserving the project’s initial intention. The Villerbanne-Lyon Arena also integrates programs of hospitality, food and beverage, as well as locker rooms and practice facilities.
The methodological arrangement of form and void, specifically the relationship of its components with the central plaza, is what is justly intriguing about this grand project. Ron Tuner, principal at Gensler quotes: “the arena’s proximity to transit and its location in the heart of the Grand Lyon region is an ideal location for a venue of this magnitude. We are especially pleased by the input from the city and SPSM [Société De Projet Salle Multifonction] that this should be a modern, state-of-the-art venue that achieves the highest level of European standards.”