Place Louis Pradel

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Located at the foot of the Croix-Rousse hill, the square laid out in 1980 is named after Louis Pradel who was Mayor of Lyon from 1957 to 1976.

It is overlooked by two impressive buildings, City Hall and the Opera and is linked to the banks of the Rhône by an esplanade featuring sculptures by Ipoustéguy and César.

Today’s opera is the third building to stand here. Rebuilt in 1993 by Jean Nouvel, it forms a striking contrast with the 17th-century City Hall.  The architect kept the original walls and façades but topped the building with a huge domed glass roof which is home to the dance studios. 

To the north of the square, the streets become much narrower, winding between the former silk weavers’ houses up to the top of the Croix Rousse hill.  Silk-weaving left its stamp on the district which the people of Lyon dubbed the “hill of labour” as opposed to Fourvière with its basilica, the “hill of prayer”.

In 1982, Ipoustéguy created four sculptures in collaboration with architect Charles Delfante.  Opposite the opera stands “The Sun”, otherwise known as the fountain of lovers.  It is a large bronze disk upon which lines of a poem by Renaissance poet Louise Labé are engraved: Permets m’amour penser quelques folies…  On the opposite side, on place Tolozan, L’homme de la Liberté, César’s roller-skating figure is a reminder that the square doubles as a makeshift skate park. 

Previous years

Phénix

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A majestic phoenix, the incarnation of the mythical animal symbolising hope and rebirth, has landed in Lyon. Neon lights vibrate with a multitude of bright and changing colours.

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Les Lustres

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Five huge (6x6m) old fashioned chandelier lights have fallen from an imaginary ceiling. Their tentacular branches reach out, holding twenty lampshades aloft. They wait patiently for the public.

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TOWER

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TOWER is a three-part artistic signage project designed to welcome the public and help them find their way around the city. From a distance, five glowing horizontal bars encircling the tower.

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Abyss

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Drawing inspiration from the principle of bioluminescence (generating light in complete darkness as some sea creatures are able to do), arcs of light form the dorsal fin of a huge mythical creature.

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Festicolor

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Geometry: the video projected on facades typical of the seventies changes their shapes through a kinetic construction / deconstruction. The building becomes imaginary palaces or geometric assemblies.

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The Daisy

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When night falls, an immense multicolored daisy blooms from a gigantic lighted flowerpot. Then one by one its petals are plucked. Inspired by the Maltese pyrotechnic wheels used for religious festival

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Feline gaze

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Place Louis Pradel leaves us wide-eyed. Attending Lyon for the first time, designers Julie Mathias and Wolfgang Kaeppner of the Hong Kong WOKmedia group, take a quirky look at the Fête des Lumières.

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Light In

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As a summer day, the square seems dotted with bouquet of flowers arching up towards the sky, reminiscent of a summer’s day. However, as night falls, these white flowers with their simple outlines.

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