historic buildings for sale in france lyon

In Lyon city centre, a listed, Art Deco style villa
and an office building in parklands with a lake
Lyon, RHONE rhones-alps 69003 FR


The historic, cultural and gastronomic city of Lyon, classified as a World Heritage site by UNESCO, has managed to preserve a large architectural heritage dating from the Gallo-Roman era through to the 20th century and including the Renaissance period. Furthermore, it is continually being enhanced with contemporary creations. This villa, standing in the city centre, is set in parklands, just a stone’s throw from a TGV train station with 2-hour links to Paris. Lyon-Saint-Exupéry international airport is a 20-minute car drive away. Geneva is 1½ hours away by road.


This property, in the city centre of Lyon, consists of a villa in approx. 2,000 m² of parklands, with a lake as well as a modern office building, constructed on the edge of the property. The residence was built in 1921 at the height of the Art Deco era, with some added Art Nouveau features. Inspired by the modernity of Tony-Garnier, it was given a terrace roof and was entirely constructed from reinforced concrete by two engineers, Léon-Lelièvre and Léon-Barbier, specialists in this material. Commissioned by a wealthy textile industrialist, whose wife adored Pompeian villas, the inside of this villa features a mixture of Italian and Art Nouveau styles. It abounds in decors coming from the latter movement as well as the works of Italian artists. It was given Historic Monument listing by French Order on 23 April 1991. Once much bigger, the parklands span an area of approx. 2,000 m² around the residence and still include a lake.

The listed residence

This reinforced concrete villa, spanning two levels, is constructed over cellars. It faces north-south in a longwise direction. The rectangular building is flanked by a turret with corbelling. It features a terrace roof and two pergolas look down on the tower and the entrance to the building. The villa’s symmetrical and geometrical facades are adorned with bow windows. The interior layout of the villa is far from traditional and corresponds to a new way of life. The main living space is laid out on the first floor. The garden level, once reserved for domestic staff, provides guests with privacy. The facade demonstrates a closed-in architecture, completely cut-off from the garden, a configuration often used in the Art Nouveau style.

Ground floor
Two doors in the vestibule open into the residence’s lower level which houses a laundry room, a garage taking up the full width of the building and a flat, once used by domestic staff. A separate entrance via the garden provides access to two bedrooms as well as a shower room with a toilet. The windows feature magnificent signed stained glass. Corridor walls are covered with paintings in keeping with Art Nouveau principles, just like some of the furniture which is an integral part of the villa’s carcass. At the time, the villa included the latest technical innovations such as a goods lift, a rubbish chute, a larder, central heating and an integrated watering system in the garden. The house was originally linked via an underground passageway to the owners’ factory.
First floor
The entrance to the house is topped with a stained-glass roof and looked down on by a pergola. A glazed door opens into a vestibule which provides access to a stairway with marble steps, bordered by planters. The stairway goes up to a wide atrium illuminated via a glass roof. The atrium is decorated with a painted frieze by R-Burretta, bas-reliefs by Cavina and a marble decor by Ernesto-Giavina. The atrium is supported on either side by four columns and opens into a Roman bath which faces an exedra that adjoins an aviary with stained-glass and engraved windows. The walls and floor of the aviary are covered with mosaic tiles. The atrium constitutes the centre of the building around which are laid out the kitchen-dining room as well as the bedrooms and their bathrooms. This layout means that there are no corridors. The atrium gives access to a vast kitchen that is also used as a dining room as well as to three bedrooms, two of which have their own bathrooms, the third adjoins a vast dressing room. The rooms are spacious and bright courtesy of the wide stained glass and engraved windows. Several of the stained-glass windows in the house are signed by J-Mayosson and others by Jacques-Grüber, both famous master glassmakers from Nancy. Most represent stylised natural landscapes of Pompei and form a screen between the inside and the outside in keeping with Art Nouveau characteristics. The villa was known as a “doorless house” because of this open-plan layout which takes its inspiration from both Italian Renaissance villas and old Roman houses. A small spiral stairway provides access to the roof terrace.

The garden and the office building with its modern architecture

The garden, once set out as a rose garden, is enclosed by a concrete wall, covered with a decorative trellis and a fresco signed by J-Mayosson, made entirely from mosaic tiles. The lake has been preserved and deserves to be refilled with water. A long, vine-covered pergola isolates the property from the office building, constructed on the edge of the property. This building, featuring modern architecture, spans three levels, topped with a terrace roof, on which stands a pergola that matches the two on the roof of the villa. One wall is curved and predominantly composed of glass tiles. The three levels house offices, spanning a surface area of approx. 450 m², as well as an archive room. The basement has 10 car parking spaces reserved for the offices. The building, entered directly from the street and independent of the property, is currently rented on a commercial lease.

Our opinion

Daring, the height of luxury and quality, such are the words that immediately come to the minds of visitors. An exceptional combination reflecting great perfection. The overall effect of the residence is stunning. Buildings where such stylistic unity has been so well preserved are very rare nowadays. Whilst the architecture and most of the decorative features deliberately reflect the Art Deco style, the stained-glass windows contrast somewhat, with the Art Nouveau style reminiscent of Guimard. (Furthermore, they came from an old property belonging to the owners.)
The somewhat megalomaniac appearance worthy of an emperor would not however discourage genuine aesthetics because the antique references marking the building are known to us.

Exclusive sale

4 500 000 €
Honoraires à la charge du vendeur

Voir le Barème d'Honoraires

Reference 302859

Land registry surface area 2112 m2
Main building surface area 500 m2
Outbuilding surface area 450 m2

French Energy Performance Diagnosis

Regional representative

Florence Granier       +33 1 42 84 80 85



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NB: The above information is not only the result of our visit to the property; it is also based on information provided by the current owner. It is by no means comprehensive or strictly accurate especially where surface areas and construction dates are concerned. We cannot, therefore, be held liable for any misrepresentation.

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