Exactly four years ago today I snapped this first photo while walking down one of the many stairways leading from the Croix-Rousse into the center of town.
Here you can see the Rhône river and the 82-meter high Swiss Life Building (1989) in the background. In 2007, the Swiss Life Tower was the second tallest building in Lyon. That changed only three years later with the construction of another skyscraper.
This second photo was taken nine days ago from nearly the same spot as above, but with a different camera and under better lighting conditions. It clearly shows the newest — and now second tallest — downtown office building in Lyon, the Oxygen Tower.
Finished in 2010, the Oxygen Tower's 28 floors rise to a height of 115 meters. 80% of the offices in the building are lit from direct, natural sunlight. And perhaps most importantly, there are 420 parking spaces spread out on four sub-levels beneath the tower. You can see some nice photos (not mine) of the Oxygen Tower here or here.
The Swiss Tower (left), the Oxygen Tower (middle) and the Crédit Lyonnais Building, otherwise known as le Crayon (the pencil) due to it's cylindrical shape.
The Pencil's 42 floors of offices and hotel reach 165 meters into the sky, making it the tallest building in Lyon. For now.
Plans are underway to construct an even taller building, the Incity Tower, over the the next several years. If I'm still in Lyon when it's finished, I'll update this post with a new photo.
Petite notice - the above photos are © Alex Quici 2011