Tony Garnier from An Industrial City



Tony Garnier

The industrial revolution had the effect of bringing more and more people from the countryside into the heart of the city looking for work. Such dramatic overpopulation and unrestricted urban growth led to slum housing, dirty, disease and a lack of communal green spaces within the city landscape. After that term, modern urban planning arose in response to this disorder. Reformation of these areas was the objective of the early city planners, who began to impose regulatory laws establishing housing standards for housing, sanitation etc. Urban planners also introduced parks, playground in the city neighborhoods, for recreation as well as visual relief. The notion of zoning was a major concept of urban planning at this time. Some urban planners worked on urban planning and one of them was the Tony Garnier.

Who was the Tony Garnier? He was an French architect and city planner. He was most active in his hometown of Lyon. On the other hand, he studied on sociological and architectural problems. His basic idea included the separation of spaces by function through zoning into several categories. Tony Garnier first produced plan for the ideal industrial town in 1904. In industrial city of Tony Garnier, he determine general standards of city and with these standards. He developed some designs that supplied people’s materially and morally needs.


Garnier ‘s proposal was an industrial city for approx 35.000 inhabitants situated on a area in southeast France on a plateau with high land and a lake to the north, a valley and river to the south. He envisaged a town of segregated uses with a residential area, a train station quarter and an industrial zone. Concept of zoning was strongly similar with Ebenezer Howard  Garden Cities of To-morrow because he divided the city into three parts as well like Garnier. Garnier tries to take into account all aspects of the city including governmental, residential, manufacturing and agricultural practices. The various function of the city were clearly related, but separated from each from by location and patterns. The city of labor divided into Four main Functions: Work, housing, health and leisure. The public area at the heart of the city was grouped into three sections: Administrative services and assembly halls, museum collections and sport facilities.


Region of station is centre of the city and it includes all public trade facilities together. A railway passes between the factory and the city, which is on a plateau, and further up are the medical facilities.

The residential area is made up of rectangular blocks running east-west which gives the city its characteristic elongated form. This is the location of the houses ( in the picture) and the houses was situated into the large green areas to benefit from sun and fresh air. The residential districts are the first attempt towards passive solar architecture. Garnier had energy efficiently in mind as the city was to be powered by a hydroelectric station with a dam which was located  in the mountains along with the hospital.


It was the illustration of assembly building. The industrial city resembles the ideal city in Emile Zola’s Travail. Assembly hall has inspiration from it. Also Tony Garnier supported the variety of arts, so many artistic and social facilities was thought.

Another significant region was the hospital area. Medical practice of that time was almost totally without the tools and treatments not in common use, but it had become apparent that sunshine and pure air were helpful in overcoming many diseases. There was a movement toward breaking down big hospitals into units called pavilions, thus giving patients close relationship to these amenities and making them feel more relaxed than if they were in a huge crowded environment.


Tony Garnier was the one of the pioneers of the modern architecture in terms of material. The materials used are concrete for the foundations and walls, and reinforced concrete for floors and ceilings. All important buildings are constructed of reinforced concrete.

Another innovation that reflect on the city plan is equality between people. When asked why his city contained no law courts, police stations, jail or church, he is said to have replied that the new society governed by socialist law. All of them brings about socialism theory.  Tony  Garnier was the socialist person. Charles Fourier who French philosopher and an influential early socialist thinker later associated with “utopian socialism” and Henri de Saint-Simon who French political and economic theorist and businessperson. They were supporters of the socialism theory in that terms.


Tony’ s industrial city is one of the most comprehensive idea plans of all time. Garnier’ s industrial city was never built, but he contributed to the further planners such as Le Corbusier. Corbusier was the first well- known architect to discuss about Garnier’ s works. After the industrial city project, Garnier designed many projects that built in Lyon.




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