La Confluence

The new quarter La Confluence covering 150 hectares in Lyon, France, is located where the two rivers Rhône and Saône meet. It is situated next to the centre of the city within the second "arrondissement“ (district) and is planned to become a living area for around 16.000 inhabitants.

About 25 years ago the city of Lyon announced an urban planning contest concerning the reconstruction of the area. The new concept is a great experiment planned to be finished in 2025: La Confluence is going to be the first entirely new quarter in the centre of a town in Europe of this dimension that unifies social housings, offices, stores, green spaces, university buildings and leisure facilities– all of this based on a concept of energy-efficiency. An eco-city of its own, a young, cutting-edge, energy-efficient form of architecture. There is a small number of existing historical buildings that are being renovated and responded to by the modern architecture. The name "La Confluence" therefore not only corresponds to the connection of the two rivers. It also refers to the intention of combining ecological living, social arrangements, different styles of architecture and progressive urban-planning.

The photographic project La Confluence is an artistic examination of the visionary architecture. Taken between 2014 and 2017, a period in which the main buildings and structures of the new district were already completed, but settlement and urban design were still at the very beginning. At first there are only facades. Colours, structures, fascinating but inanimate scenery. An artificial, surreal world. Only very slowly people appear, almost imperceptibly between, in, beside the lifeless new buildings and take the new city for themselves. La Confluence is like a stage setting where the very few people are acting like extras.

All the 36 photographs are combined in a photobook: www.mariehoffmann.net/album...