Gymnasium Alice Milliat, Lyon (FR)

This multi-use gymnasium is a central element of the new urban development zone of Bon Lait. Its volume contains a triple sports hall for various ball sports, a training hall for martial arts, dance and gymnastics as well as a meeting room and offices. The gymnasium welcomes primary and secondary school students from nearby educational establishments, as well as sports clubs and local sport enthusiasts.


Urban Context

The sports hall with its facade of wooden strips and generous glazing clearly stands out from its densely built mixed environment. It opens onto the square with an urban loggia and interacts with the public space and its neighborhood, emphasizing its function as an available-to all communal facility. The roof silhouette with 18 sheds refers to the urban skyline and also to the industrial history of the site. The sports hall impressively demonstrates how well wood architecture works in an urban context.

Client: Ville de Lyon
Location: F-Lyon, Place du Traité de Rome
Architecture: Dietrich | Untertrifaller & Têkhnê Architectes
Project management: Ulrike Bale-Gabriel
Competition: 2013
Construction: 2014-2016
Area: 2,700 m²
Capacity: 200 pupils

Awards: Prix National de la Construction Bois 2017 (French National Timber Construction Award)

statics timber: Arborescence, Lyon / statics concrete: DPI, Villeurbanne / timber construction: SDCC, Varces / HAVCR, electronics: Astrius, Lyon / building physics: Eegenie, Lyon / costs: Denizou, Villeurbanne / acoustics: Peutz, Lyon

builder: B.L.B Constructions, Genay (FR) / wood construction: Thalmann, Lyon (FR) / glass facade: Blanchet Group, Montbrison (FR) / metal construction: Fontbonne, Décines-Charpieu (FR) / interior joinery: Guillon, Les Roches-de-Condrieu (FR) / heating-sanitary: CEME Cerniaut, Corbas (FR) / Electrics: FPEL, Vénissieux (FR) / sports equipment: Marty Sports, Saint-Clément-de-la-Place (FR)

Photos: © Julien Lanoo

2018 | 09 Ecologik Gymnase Alice Milliat | 2017 | 11 AIT Magazin Gymnase Alice Milliat Lyon | 09 Prix Construction Bois Gymnase Alice Milliat Lyon | 09 Holzkurier Gymnase Alice Milliat Lyon | 01 Mikado Gymnase Alice Milliat Lyon

Simple Form with complex Insides

At first glance the outer shape seems inconspicuous and looks like an ordinary box. Yet inside, no one would guess a nine-meter-high ball sports hall with the ceiling in the form of truncated pyramids that allows a lot of natural light to flow in. The hall can be divided into three, thus allowing different sports to take place at the same time. The martial arts hall on the upper floor can also be used for dancing and gymnastics. It gets daylight through a window band and a skylight. The backbone of the building made of reinforced concrete contains the internal access and the ancillary rooms.


Interior Design with interesting Ceiling Construction

Inside, the ceiling of the nine-meter-high triple sports hall impresses with skylights in the form of truncated pyramids, arranged like a chessboard. Facing north, they distribute daylight evenly throughout the room. The vertical wooden slats of the wall cladding continue the pattern of the ceiling and provide good acoustics as well as an attractive design.




Isometry - The sports hall in the right part of the building. On the left are the Dojo-Hall (back) and the offices (front). The height difference makes the room program readable from the outside.
The spectator stands are arranged at the rear as three-row concrete seating steps.
In contrast to the warm atmosphere of the wood clad halls, the interior access routes and adjoining rooms are constructed in exposed concrete.

Sustainable Construction with Wood and Straw

The unpretentious building was constructed as a wooden framework of glued laminated spruce beams, insulated with straw bales. Hollow boxes as exterior and partition wall elements fill out the main supporting structure – an ideal solution both statically and energetically. The boxes consist of double-sided planked frames with two or three chambers, filled with precisely fitting straw bales. Based on that, the facade construction and finally the cladding of pre-grey larch wood boards follows.

Not only the renewable raw materials such as wood and straw make the building “sustainable”. Above all, it is the interaction of ecological material, economical construction, uncomplicated building services and building comfort, good use of daylight, natural ventilation and appealing surfaces that has been achieved.

Precisely fitting straw bales fill the chambers of the hollow box elements.
BS wooden trusses as "beams on two supports" in a row form the construction.

History - From Industrial Site to Residential Area

The French city of Lyon has changed a lot in recent decades. The former industrial center has turned into a modern city with new splendor, mainly due to the settlement of promising technology industries. As a result, urban planning has become increasingly important. Several former industrial sites were converted into residential quarters. They now offer urban infrastructures such as shopping centers, assembly halls and nurseries or – as in the new ZAC urban development quarter ‘Bon Lait’ in the Gerland district – the multifunctional sports center. The sports hall is the keystone in this area, which has been completely redesigned within the last decade.