© Brice GENEVOIS
Discoveries DISCOVERIES A BIT OF HISTORY
Halle Tony Garnier
© ©Musée d’histoire de Lyon - Gadagne
Built in the early twentieth century and renamed after its designer, this concert venue in Gerland is one of the most important in the city.
When it was first built, Halle Tony Garnier was part of a huge complex, including abattoirs and a cattle market. It was designed by local architect Tony Garnier in 1906, on request from the mayor, Édouard Herriot. In 1914, the First World War interrupted both works on the site and the organisation of an international urban expo, which was planned by the municipal authority at the time as an alternative to the world's fairs. Halle Tony Garnier was then converted into a war hospital and later a weapons factory that produced 20,000 shells a day.
The scheme developed by Tony Garnier finally became operational in 1928 and remained so until 1967 when the abattoirs were moved to Corbas. The building then fell into disuse, but it was thankfully saved from demolition in 1975, due to its status as a historic monument. Several plans for it were considered (including a museum of transport and communication) before the City decided to create an events venue. Large-scale conversion works began in 1987. Among all the buildings in the original complex, only this hall, which covers 17,000 m² without a single pillar, was kept. Following renovation works in 2000 (including the acoustics, tiered seating and catwalk), Halle Tony Garnier’s capacity was increased to 17,000 spectators. It has welcomed famous artists from around the world, such as Peter Gabriel, U2, Paul McCartney, Dire Straits, Muse and The Cure, and is now experimenting with other types of events.
During the last European Heritage Days, tours were organised to allow visitors to discover show business trades, and these are now accessible to residents of the Gerland neighbourhood all year round. It is opening its doors to a wider audience, hosting events such as this winter’s ‘Métal Immersion’ festival, the finish of the SaintéLyon race, a wine fair and the third edition of Wintower, the winter version of the festival Woodstower.