3XN was invited to participate in an international competition to design a new 20,000m2 headquarters for French media company Le Monde.
3XN interpreted Le Monde’s values – independence, transparency and humanity - in the new headquarters, which will be situated on a landmark site within the Rive Gauche development and on the elevated slabs covering the railyards coming into Gare d’Austerlitz.
The design references the brand’s name and journalistic reach by extracting a globe from the basic site volume, creating a grand spherical plaza. This ‘Place Le Monde’ is intended as a generous gesture towards the city, encouraging communication, sharing of knowledge, and interaction. The building and the plaza convey the merging of digital and traditional editorial through the implementation of a fully interactive multimedia façade. 3XN’s design respects the Reichen et Robert masterplan and its concept of urban windows with the creation of a building with a permeable façade. The plaza creates a view corridor through the spherical indentation.
A signature spiral stair within the majestic atrium provides physical and visual connections throughout the building. Substantial floor plates on the three upper levels connect the two parts of the building, creating a unified work environment where the spherical indentation of the globe becomes an integral part of the interior. Internal communication is optimized through overlapping floor plates, which rotate around each other and remain flexible and efficient enough to allow for many variations including both open and cell offices.
Rainwater, collected from the roof and upcycled through a biological cleaning process, is utilized for toilets and to water gardens. Daylight is maximized and atriums ensure ventilation and fresh air. The building will actively produce its own energy via photovoltaics on the roof and supply water-cooling from the river Seine. Furthermore, the biological waste of the building can be utilized to create clean energy and soil enriching biochar through pyrolysis.