Tony Garnier (architect)

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This page is for the architect. For the musician see Tony Garnier (musician)
Portrait of Tony Garnier

Tony Garnier (August 13, 1869 in Lyon – January 19, 1948 in Roquefort-la-Bédoule, France) was a noted architect and city planner. He was most active in his hometown of Lyon. Garnier is considered the forerunner of 20th century French architects.


After learning painting and drafting at the École Technique de la Martinière in Lyon (1883-86), Garnier studied architecture at the École nationale des beaux-arts de Lyon (1886-89) and the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris (1890-99). In 1899 he won the Prix de Rome for a design of a national bank. The prize enabled him to reside at the Villa Medici in Rome for four years, until 1904.[1]

In 1901, after extensive study of sociological and architectural problems, he began to formulate an elaborate solution to the perceived issues concerning urban design. His basic idea included the separation of spaces by function through zoning into several categories: industrial, civic, residential, health related, and entertainment. Garnier's drawings for an ideal industrial city called Une cité industrielle were initially exhibited in 1904, but only published later in 1918.[1]

Une Cité Industrielle was designed as an utopian form of living, for 35,000 inhabitants. It was located between a mountain and a river to facilitate access to hydroelectric power. This plan was highly influenced by the writings of Émile Zola, in particular his socialist utopian novel Travail (1901).[1] The plan allowed schools and vocational-type schools to be near the industries they were related to, so that people could be more easily educated. There were no churches or law enforcement buildings, in hope that man could rule himself. The idea of functional separation was later taken up by the members of CIAM, and would ultimately influence the design of cities like Brasilia.

In 1904 Garnier returned to Lyon, where he received a commission for a livestock market and slaughterhouse (1906-24), later named Halle Tony Garnier. In 1910 he was commissioned for the design of the Édouard-Hérriot Hospital, completed in 1927. Further projects included several villas, the Stade de Gerland (Gerland stadium) (1914-18) and the low-cost housing Quartier des Etats-Unis (1919-35) on United-States avenue in the 8th arrondissement of Lyon.[1]

Grave of Tony Garnier

In the 1920s Garnier continued the work on several major projects started before the war. In 1939 he moved from Lyon to Roquefort-la-Bédoule, where he died in 1948.[1] He is buried in the Croix-Rousse cemetery.

Selected projects[edit]

  • Cité Industrielle, project for an ideal city, 1904
  • Rothschild Foundation Housing, Paris (competition entry), 1905
  • Slaughterhouse and Stockyard, later named after him Halle Tony Garnier, Lyon, 1905-1924
  • Grange-Blanche Hospital (now H. Edouard Herriot Hospital), Lyon, 1910-27
  • Villa Tony Garnier, Saint-Rambert, Lyon, 1911
  • Stade de Gerland municipal stadium, Lyon, 1914-18
  • Quartier des Etats-Unis housing, Lyon, 1919-35
  • Villa Gros, Saint-Didier, 1921
  • Sanatorium, Saint-Hilaire de Touvet, 1923
  • Lyon and Saint-Etienne Pavilions, International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts, Paris, 1925
  • Hotel de Ville town hall, Boulogne-Brillancourt (with Jacques Debat-Ponsan), 1934


  • 1918 Une Cité Industrielle: Etude pour la construction des villes
  • 1920 Les grands travaux de la ville de Lyon


  1. ^ a b c d e Sennott, R. Stephen (2004). Encyclopedia of 20th Century Architecture. New York: Fitzroy Dearborn. 

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