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Une Cit Industrielle  1

Tony Garnier
Tony Garniers (18691948) plans and sketches for an ideal
industrial city, UneCitIndustrielle, began as Ecole de Beaux Arts
Prix de Rome studies or envois in 1901 and were eventually
published as a loose-leaf folio in 1917, to become one of the
formative theoretical proposals of 20th centruy urban design. This
article is a translation of the Preface to Une Cit industrielle with
representative plates that Indicate Garniers prodigious drawing skill.

Key words

city planning, design standards, hospitals, hygiene, industrial zone,

public garden, railway, residential district, solar orientation, town
center, ventilation

Une Cit Industrielle, detail, dated 1917. Tony Garnier, Architect.

Une Cit Industrielle

ne Cit Industrielle portrays a utopian, modernist vision that in

corporates functionalist principles a decade before they were
advocated by any other architect (Miriani, 1990). Garnier envisioned an entire city in plan and in detail, including schools, hospitals,
factories, residential quarters and recreational facilities. His generating
concepts included a decentralized layout, traffic-free pedestrian zones,
and residential districts with gardens to emphasize continuous pedestrian circulation and orientation and placement to follow local climatic
design variables. In the Preface to Une Cit Industrielle, presented below,
Garnier includes regulations to institute his design and plannng principles. The proposed materials and building techniques of reinforced
concreteup to then used only experimentallywould permit open
plans and roof terraces, and glass windows disposed generously for sunlight and natural ventilation.


The architectural studies presented here with many plates focus on the
establishment of a new city, Une Cit Industrielle. Most new towns
that will be built from now on will be derived from industrial conditions. Therefore, the most generalized case is considered here. In such
a scope of town planning, all possible architectural types will be required and all of these are examined here.
The town is assumed to be of average size, to have a population of
35,000 inhabitants. A generalized approach to research is adopted for
this scale that would not have been applicable to the study of a smaller
village or to a larger city. It is also assumed that the site includes an

equal amount of hillside and level plain that is transected by a river.

Although the town under study is fictitious, the existing towns of
Rive-de-Gier, Saint-tienne, Saint-Chamond, Chasse, and Givors that
represent similar basic needs as the scheme we have imaged here. The
setting is assumed to be southeastern France and the building materials proposed are indigenous to the region.
The reasons motivating the establishment of such a town could be
assumed to be the availability of raw materials for manufacturing, the
existence of a natural energy source available for industrial use, or the
sites accessibility to transportation. In this case, the determining factor
is taken to be a rushing stream that is advantageous for a dam and
location of a hydroelectric power station to provide electricity for heating, lighting and power for factories and town. There are also mines
nearby, although these could be assumed to be located farther away.
The main factory is situated in the plain, where the stream meets the river.
A major railway line runs between the factory and the town, located
above on a higher plain. Higher still are the well-spaced hospital buildings.
Like the town itself, these are shielded from cold winds, oriented to the
southern sun on terraces sloping facing the river. Each of these principal
elementsfactory, town, and hospitalis sited to allow for expansion, so
that our study represents a more general longer term planning proposal.
To arrive at a design that completely fulfills the moral and material
needs of the individual, a set of standards are established concerning traffic circulation, hygiene, and so on.The assumption is that a certain progress
of social order would have already established such standards, thus insuring the adoption of such regulations although these are completely

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Une Cit Industrielle

2  Une Cit Industrielle

Fig. 1. Une Cit Industrielle,

general view, dated 1917. Tony Garnier, Architect.

unrecognized by current law. As such, it is assumed that there is the

enabling public power of eminent domain, governance of uses of the
land, distribution of water, food essentials and medicines, and the
reutilization of refuse.

Many towns and cities have already enacted standards for hygiene according to local geographic and climatic conditions. In this city, it is assumed
that the direction and conditions of the prevailing winds prompt particular practices represented in the following set of building regulations:
In residences, each bedroom should have at least one south-facing
window, large enough to illuminate the whole room and admit direct sunlight
All spaces in residences, however small, should be illuminated and
ventilated directly from outside and not rely upon internal shafts
House interiors (walls, floors, and so forth) should be of a smooth
surface with rounded corners


These standards, required for residential construction, will, whenever

possible, also serve as guidelines for public buildings.
The area in residential quarters is subdivided into blocks measuring
150 meters in the east-west direction and 30 meters in the northsouth.These blocks are then divided into lots of 15 by 15 meters, each
one abutting directly onto the street.This partitioning ensures the best
possible use of land and fulfills the standards cited above.
A residence or any building for a public function may occupy one or
more lots. But the area of lot coverage for construction must always be
less than half the entire site, with the remainder devoted to public garden accessible to pedestrian use: that is, each building lot must include a
public pathway available from the street to the building behind.
This arrangement makes it possible for pedestrians to cross the city in
any direction, independent of the street pattern. The land of the town
as a whole is similar to a great park, free of enclosures and walls delimiting the terrain. The minimum distance between two houses in the
north-south direction is equal to at least the height of the construction
situated to the south. Due to these planning standardswhich limit

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Une Cit Industrielle

Une Cit Industrielle  3

Fig. 2. Une Cit Industrielle,

factory view, dated 1917. Tony Garnier, Architect.

site coverage and prohibit the use of enclosuresand also because the
land is graded for drainage, there is great variety in overall design.
The town is composed of a grid of parallel and perpendicular streets.
Its main street originates at the railway station and runs east-west.The
north-south roads, tree-lined on either side, are 20 meters wide and
planted on both sides. The east-west roads are 13 or 19 meters wide;
those of 19 meters are planted on the south side.

Group I: Administrative services and meeting halls

A very open hall continuously accessible to the public, with a capacity of 3,000; the hall is equipped with public notice boards and
a public address system to amplify meeting or musical entertainment; it is also used for large-scale meetings
A second hall with amphitheater seating for 1,000 people, and two
further amphitheaters for 500; all are equipped for conferences and
film projection

A large number of small meeting rooms (each with its own office
and changing room) for unions, associations, and other groups
At the center of the city, an extensive area is reserved for public buildings. They form three groups:
I. Administrative services and assembly halls
II. Museums
III. Facilities for sports and entertainment
Groups II and III are situated in parks, bordered to the north by the
main street and to the south by planted terraces which afford an open
view of the plain, the river, and mountains beyond.

All these rooms are located beneath a vast portico that provides a covered promenade for the town center and a spacious area where people
can meet, sheltered in case of inclement weather.
To the south of this portico is the clock tower, visible along the length
of the main street. It is a landmark indicating the center of town. The
administrative services include:
A building containing municipal offices open to the public records
(births, marriages, and deaths), and an arbitration tribunal; each of
these will include rooms for the public, committees, and related offices

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Une Cit Industrielle

4  Une Cit Industrielle

Fig. 3. Primary School (Pl. 38). Tony Garnier, Architect.

Fig. 4. Primary School Garden (Pl. 39). Tony Garnier, Architect.


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Une Cit Industrielle  5

Fig. 5. Plan Residential Quarter (Pl. 66). Tony Garnier, Architect.

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Une Cit Industrielle

6  Une Cit Industrielle

Fig. 6. View Residential Quarter (Pl. 72). Tony Garnier, Architect.

An office building for all those branches of civic government that

require at least one clerk in direct contact with the administration
A building for social research
A building for archives, sited near the fire station
There will also be an office housing the labor organizations, which
include employment registry office; information offices; offices for
trade union organizations and associations; temporary residences and
cafeterias. There are also special advisory offices, including a building
fitted out as a medical clinic, a pharmacy, and a center for hydrotherapy.
Further south on the main street is the central post and telecommunications office, with complete mail, telex and telephone facilities.

Group II: Museum buildings

Historical collections and important archaeological, artistic, industrial and commercial documents relating to the city; permanent
monuments will be erected in the park surrounding the rooms
containing the archives
Botanical collections; in the garden and in a large greenhouse
The library, including a spacious reading room (one side devoted
to library volumes, the other to periodicals and newspapers) and a
large map room (at its center a vast globe fitted with a stair to
facilitate consultation). Located at the entrance to the library are
service rooms for cataloging, book maintenance, book-binding,


archiving, printing, a book loan office, and so forth.; surrounding

these are the various storerooms
A large separate hall for temporary exhibitions; with four entrances
so that several small exhibits can be set up at once, or a large exhibition can utilize the entire hall

Group III: Public buildings for sports and entertainment

A hall for entertainment and theater (1,900 seats), with all necessary support facilities; movable stage sets for quick scene changes
(to eliminate equipment above and below the stage); green rooms
for performers, orchestra and for theater sets; cloakrooms, toilets,
foyer, and public restaurant
A semi-circular amphitheater (after the ancient Greek theater) for
open-air performances framed within a natural landscape
A large public bath building with heated and unheated pools, changing cabins and bathing pools, shower rooms, massage and relaxation
rooms, a restaurant, a fencing room, and tracks for athletic training
Athletic fields (tennis courts, football pitches, and so forth), tracks
for cycling and running; areas for high jump and discus throwing,
and so forth; this area will be bordered by covered grandstands and
grassy terraces screened by trees

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Une Cit Industrielle

Une Cit Industrielle  7

Fig. 7. View Residential Quarter (Pl. 74). Tony Garnier, Architect.

As explained above, Groups II and III are situated in the midst of

gardens, furnished with park benches, fountains, and so forth. All public buildings are constructed almost entirely in reinforced concrete
and glass.

Conveniently located throughout the citys neighborhoods are primary schools for children up to approximately fourteen years of age.
Schools will be coeducational; grouping of children will be by age,
ability and advancement. A special landscaped street will separate the
classes for smaller children from those of their elders, and will provide
a play area for use between classes. Recreation areas will also include
arcades and open porticoes. Schools will be equipped with projection
theatres in addition to the necessary classrooms. The school principal
and grounds attendants are housed nearby.
Secondary schools will be situated at the most northeastern point of
the town. The curriculum will be addressed to the needs of an industrial town. For the majority of students, the education will involve
general courses in vocational studies. A limited number of students
will receive specialist training in administration and trade (that is, professional arts instruction). All children attend the secondary schools
between fourteen and twenty years of age. Those qualified for further
studies will enroll in professional schools or colleges.
The professional arts school is intended to prepare those who will
engage in artistic productionin architecture, painting, and sculpture,
as well as related areas of design such as furniture, fabrics, linen, embroidery, clothing, leatherwork; also in copper, tin, iron, glass, pottery,

enamel, printing, lithography, photography, engraving, mosaic, poster

art, and so forth.
The professional industrial school is concerned primarily with supporting the two major industries of the region, metallurgy and silk
production, and will offer specialized courses devoted to the study of
production and procedures.

The hospitals (715 beds) are situated on the hillside north of the city
center.They are sheltered from the cold mountain winds by trees forming a screen to the east and west. The complex contains four main
Heliotherapy center
Hospital for contagious diseases
Hospital for invalids
The plan as a whole as well as in detail has been designed according to
current standards of medical science. Each section is disposed to accommodate future expansion.

The district around the railway station is mainly reserved for collective
housing, such as hotels, and department stores, and so forth, so that the

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Une Cit Industrielle

8  Une Cit Industrielle

rest of the city is free of tall structures. The railway station square will
face an open-air market.

Support facilities will be distributed throughout the complex, including

rest rooms, changing rooms, cafeteria, and first aid points.

The station is of average size and is sited at the intersection of the great
artery leading out of town and the streets leading to the older developed area along the riverbanks. The main building opens onto the
square and its clock tower is visible from all over town.

Spacious roads with trees arranged in quincunx patterns will lead to the
various areas of the industrial complex. Each department is arranged to
allow for future expansion without curtailing other parts of the complex.

Public amenities are at street level and underground walkways are

equipped with platforms and waiting rooms. The railway yard is situated farther to the east, with the sidings serving the factory to the west.
The railway tracks are planned as straight lines, so that trains can move
as rapidly as possible.

Certain basic services depend on the municipal administration and are
subject to special requirements. These services include meat distribution, flour and bread production and storage, water supply, the control
of pharmaceutical and dairy products. The administration is in charge
of sewage and garbage disposal, and the recycling of refuse. It also
controls the water supply, electrical power, and heating for industrial as
well as for private consumption, and requires a centralized plant to
provide such municipal services to all buildings and areas of the city.

The main factory is a metallurgy works. Nearby mines supply raw
materials. Energy is generated from the local hydropower site and
power plant.
The factory produces steel rods and pipes, rolled-steel section, sheet
metal, wheels, machine tools, and agricultural machinery. In addition,
it fabricates metalwork for railway stock and naval equipment and
bodywork for automobiles and airplanes.
The factory complex includes blast furnaces, steel mills, workshops
with large presses and power hammers, assembly and repair shops, a
dock for launching and repairing ships, a river port, workshops for
outfitting automobile bodies, and workshops for refractories. It also
includes vehicle testing tracks, numerous laboratories, and housing for
engineering staff.


Around the center of the city, other manufacturing facilities may be

added, including farmsteads for food production, silkworm production, spinning-mills, and so forth.

Materials used in building construction include concrete for foundations and walls, and reinforced concrete for the sills and roofing. Important structures are to be built in reinforced concrete. These two
materials are highly plastic, and require specially prepared formwork;
with simple forms, the installation is easier and construction costs are
lower. This simplicity of means logically leads to simplicity of structural expression. Note that if the construction remains simple, without
ornamentation or moldings and with sheer surfaces, the decorative
arts can be effectively employed in all their forms, and each artistic
object will maintain a cleaner and fresher expressiveness, due to its
independence from the construction itself. Moreover, the use of concrete and cement makes it possible to obtain large horizontal and vertical surfaces, endowing the building with a sense of calm and balance
in harmony with the natural contours of the landscape. Other construction methods and materials will without doubt contribute to
other forms that will be equally interesting to study.
This concludes the summary of the planning of a city, an endeavor in
which all can appreciate that work is a human law and that the cult of
beauty and order can endow life with splendor. 

Miriani, Riccardo, ed., 1990. Tony Garnier: Une Cit Industrielle, New
York: Rizzoli International Publications.
Wiebenson, Dora. 1969.Tony Garnier: The Cit Industrielle, New York:
George Braziller.

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