Europe, France, Lyon
Sunday, September 28, 2014

As a kid, I studied French for almost 9 years. My mom would also practice with me after school which would drive me nuts. Fast forward six years after my last French class and surprise surprise: My french sucks. Last week, I visited France for the second time. I’ve only been to Paris for a couple days prior to this trip and I didn’t really expect to come across people who didn’t speak English there. It’s another story in Lyon. Our servers were truly French, and they’d humor us and our crappy French. (Except for one of my friends who took actual French classes in France so she’s basically awesome at it.) Some of my other friends were just like, “No entiendo ni coño.” (I don’t understand shit) It was great seeing their reactions when the server would rattle off options for sides or how to cook their meat. I couldn’t help but laugh.

Lyon was the first stop of a week-long trip our architecture group did. The schedule is intense, but all the stops were incredible. Luckily, despite some damning weather forecasts, we ended up having pretty decent weather throughout the trip. A weather highlight was during out hike up the surrounding mountains in Vals, Switzerland. The sun slightly burned our cheeks, but a nice chilled breeze kept up from sweating too much as we hiked up the mountain. It was perfect, I felt like I was in the Sound of Music. Seriously. (Evidence coming soon!)

Maybe you’ve realized that I always put an emphasis on the weather whenever I visit a place. It may be obvious why, but as a class we walk… a lot, from site to site, and sketch outside, so good weather is really important. We’re not just hopping from museum to restaurant, and back to museum, so good weather is truly important to this style of trip.

We spent about 24 hours in Lyon after an amazing bus ride through the Alps. We took a break midway and all us Miami residents freaked out because it was freezing and so foggy you couldn’t see farther than 40 feet. I’m sure there were mountains flanking either side of us, but we couldn’t see them.

We got to see some pretty cool architecture in Lyon, a lot of contemporary juxtaposed with the Hausmann era style architecture. The Lyon Confluence is a new sector of development that’s transitioning from being industrial area to mixed urban and residential that boasts architects like MVRDV and Jakob MacFarlane.

From these pictures I think you start to grasp the architectural variety through texture and treatment of the skin of the building. It seems each building is trying to achieve it’s own singularity amongst it’s similar in massing and scale neighbors. It’s a lesson that your see in the Monolithe, a building by MVRDV, but with segments of the block designed by other architects. Looking back, I wish I would’ve remembered this project and had a chance to study the Confluence when I was working on my thesis.

Before the pics, check out this burger I ate at Café 203……. So amazing. It’s called the Lyonnais because it had a full round of Saint Marcellin cheese, it was incredible, and I can’t believe I almost finished the whole thing.

After a whirlwind 30 hours in Lyon, we made our way to spend the night at La Tourette by Le Corbusier… It was a an amazing experience being in the building, even though I have a weird story that goes with it… Stay tuned for that…

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