Le Monde Group selected Norwegian studio Snøhetta to design their new headquarters in Paris. The architects will work with local studio SRA on the design, which will comprise of a twisted structure clad in a “pixelated matrix of glass” and will focus on the relationship between the French newspaper and the public.
Le Monde has occupied a building designed by French architect Christian de Portzamparc since 2004 and it has been said that the company has been struggling to pay the rent for their new home. The new headquarters will have a large public plaza at the center of the building , which will divide the volume into two connected halves. The first half will face the Seine and will accommodate a visitor center and an auditorium, while the second half, oriented towards the railway, will house a café and more intimate landscaping with seating and green areas.
The building becomes a bridge, literally spanning across the site, but also representing the bridge between Le Monde and its readers. The occupied bridge allows for direct contact between the different departments in the company. Symbolically the bridge connects the two parts of the city along the Avenue De France.
The exterior is clad in a pixilated glass with different levels or transparency and translucency. This is extended to the central plaza, where the ceiling will feature a programmable grid of LED lights to evoke the image of stars moving across the night sky.