The new Gérard Pélisson campus, dedicated to the hospitality and restaurant management industry, will offer students an innovative learning environment and support the school’s strategic ambitions.

On Thursday, 21st September, Institut Lyfe (Lyon for excellence, education, exploration, experience) officially celebrated the inauguration of its new campus dedicated to the hospitality and restaurant sectors, named after Gérard Pélisson, in honour of the late co-founder of the school and an iconic figure within the global hotel industry. The event was attended by representatives of local and regional authorities, as well as leading lights from the world of culinary arts, hospitality and restaurant management, and was hosted by Gilles Pélisson and Dominique Giraudier, respectively President and CEO of Institut Lyfe.

The campus embodies the school’s second facet as the French benchmark facility for higher education in hospitality and restaurant management around the world. Faced with the growing demand from young people seeking orientation through its courses, this new campus will make it possible to welcome up to 1,500 students in the future, thus doubling the reception capacity of the institution, which is also renowned worldwide for its courses in culinary arts and patisserie.

Strong territorial roots

Located in Écully, on the edge of the Vivier park and adjacent to its historic base, the Gérard Pélisson campus boasts a unique architectural style that combines tradition and modernity. It represents the culmination of a €17 million project initiated in 2017 with the acquisition of the Château de la Roseraie, an elegant 19th century residence built in the Napoleon III style, now beautifully restored and flanked by two daringly modern wings.

Lyon architect, Mathias Soulier (Stone Architectes), coordinated a collective composed of 35 local companies, highlighting the artisanal talent in the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes Region and with project management by Mayfair.

The project was made possible thanks to the generous support of many corporate and individual patrons of the Institut Lyfe Foundation, under the leadership of Gérard and Gilles Pélisson, as well as the constant support of the Public Authorities, in particular through a grant from the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region of €2 million, the Metropolis of Lyon, and the City of Lyon. It is part of a global investment plan totalling €25 million, the next stage of which will consist in the extension and modernisation of the facilities dedicated to culinary arts, patisserie and sommellerie within the Paul Bocuse campus.

A new campus for an exceptional student experience 

The new campus complements the historic one, and offers a unique student experience, bringing together spaces for work, research and innovation, as well as co-working and meeting areas. Boasting 22 classrooms equipped with the latest technologies, a 250-seat amphitheatre, and an applied learning bar, it provides students with innovative infrastructures to support their studies.

Stepping into the castle, with interiors by renowned designer Pierre Yves Rochon, offers a deep-dive experience in the world of hospitality. The elegant library, bar, reception rooms and concierge desk highlight the hotel professions and reflect the spirit of service and hospitality – that particular French art of hospitality of which the school is a repository.

This new campus marks a significant turning point in the positioning and strategic ambitions of the school. In particular, it will allow:

  • Diversification of the training offer with the creation of a patisserie academy, building on the recent acceptance into the Conférence des Grandes Écoles, the development of an MSc course, and the enhancement of the wine and beverage channel with the launch of a new programme.
  • Pursuit of the recognition of qualifications through a dynamic national and international accreditation strategy.
  • Strengthened international outlook thanks to the extension of English-speaking programmes and the development of new academic partnerships.
  • Acceleration of the proactive policy of inclusion and social outreach thanks to the Institut Lyfe Foundation, chaired by Sylvie Pélisson, in order to welcome 20% of students on scholarships by 2026.
  • Progression of the environmental commitment with the objective of obtaining DD&RS certification.

Dominique Giraudier commented:
We are proud of this new stage of Institut Lyfe, something Gérard Pélisson supported, it completes our new brand, which now embodies the plurality of our courses in culinary arts, patisserie, hospitality and restaurant management, as well as the modernity of the school. The involvement of great chefs such as Yannick Alléno and Anne-Sophie Pic is an indication of our desire to advance the precious heritage handed down by our founders, and ensure that Institut Lyfe always remains at the forefront of innovation.”

 “Under the leadership of Laurent Wauquiez, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region is committed to promoting regional excellence in training, research and innovation, as well as the gastronomy of the region and Lyon around the globe. By inaugurating the Gérard Pélisson Campus, we are equipping our region with a formidable tool that will soon welcome 1,500 students, allowing talents to be developed and contributing to spreading our culture via our know-how all over the world. From this perspective of excellence, the Region has supported the realisation of the Gérard Pélisson Campus at the level of both training and research.”
Catherine Staron, Deputy Vice-President for Higher Education, Research and Innovation for the Region.