Radisson Blu Hotel - Lyon (France)

A four-star hotel in Lyon

245 rooms and a panoramic bar-restaurant occupy the top floors of the iconic Part-Dieu Tower, "The Pencil" designed by the American studio of Cossutta & Associates
Laura Milan
Mauro Davoli
Year of completion

Lyon’s iconic Part-Dieu Tower, immediately nicknamed “The Pencil” for its cylindrical shape and pointed pyramid top, was designed by the famous Cossutta & Associates architecture studio, founded in New York in 1973 by Araldo Cossutta. The tower was completed in 1977. Born in 1925 on the island of Krk (then Yugoslavia, today Croatia), Araldo Cossutta studied in Belgrade and Paris before moving to the United States and graduating from Harvard. After a formative period with Le Corbusier in Paris, Cossutta became a partner in the newly established studio of Ieoh Ming Pei in the late 1950s, and continued to manage major projects for Pei until 1973.
With a style that straddles brutalism and post-modernism, the massive tower was built to promote the development of a conurbation that began to see rapid growth in the 1970s. The structure soon became the symbol of that part of Lyon. The building was commissioned by a group of investors that included Crédit Lyonnais and was originally named the “Credit Lyonnais Tower”. The current name dates back to 2008. “The Pencil” was the fourth tallest building in France when it was built. Since then it has been equalled by the Oxygène Tower (designed by Arte Charpentier Architectes and completed in 2010) and passed by the Incity Tower (2015, designed by Valode & Pistre and nicknamed “The Eraser” for its flat top, not without a sense of irony). The Pencil stands facing the basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, which dominates the city from the hill of the same name, situated in a bend of the river Rhone.
The Part-Dieu Tower features a circular plan of 115 square metres in floor area and rises to a height of 164.9 metres. It boasts 42 floors plus two underground parking levels. The tower is supported by a reinforced concrete structure, partly cast in place and partly prefabricated, which houses the central nucleus of lifts, stairs and shafts, and by pillars arranged radially around the perimeter. The envelope consists of 3,000 ochre-coloured, prefabricated concrete panels with 2,600 windows. The characteristic pointed top, designed by Stéphane du Château, consists of a transparent glass and red metal pyramid, standing 23 metres high on a square base with 32 metre sides. In its dimensions and proportions, the structure is almost identical to the glass pyramid designed by Pei in 1989 for the new underground entrance to the Louvre Museum in Paris.
The Radisson Blu, a hotel in the American and Belgian Carlson Rezidor chain that took over the assets of Le Méridien, occupies the last ten floors of the tower. The reception area is served by an entrance on the ground floor, but stands on floor 32, just above the first 31 floors of offices. The interior was completely refurbished between 2014 and 2016 in a project that took three years to complete and cost 40 million euro. The hotel re-opened on the 1st October 2016.
The hotel’s facilities, arranged around a full-height central space, comprise 245 rooms, 11 configurable meeting rooms, a fitness centre, utility rooms and services and a panoramic bar-restaurant on the 32nd floor that offers a spectacular view over the city. Inward facing tunnel-corridors provide access to the rooms, which are all illuminated from the outside, while the interior receives abundant natural light from the glass pyramid overhead. Vertical access is provided by lifts and stairways installed in independent structures fixed to the inside of the central well.
This four-star, city-centre hotel is open to tourists but mainly caters for guests visiting Lyon on business. The interior is therefore characterised by attractive, stylish details and top-quality materials and fittings. The en suite bathrooms are finished in Italian porcelain tile from Ceramiche Caesar as is one of the hotel’s most important and strategic areas, the reception, which features various formats of floor tile in neutral colours.

Caesar, Gate
porcelain stoneware
15x75 cm, 30x60 cm, 60x60 cm, 60x120 cm
Technical characteristics
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): ≤ 0,1%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): compliant
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): ≤ 145 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): ≥ 47 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9 matt
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant
Certifications and awards
ISO 14001
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