Le Monde


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Architects Snøhetta (Norway) & SRA Architectes (France)

Jared Chulski

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On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of France's most important opinion-forming newspaper - Le Monde, the Norwegian architects Snøhetta, together with the French office SRA Architects, developed a new publishing house for the entire Le Monde media group.

Directly next to the Austerlitz railway station in the 13th arrondissement of Paris and only nine meters above the railway tracks running underground, the new publishing building of the Le Monde editorial office has now been standing since 2020. With a height of 140 meters, a width of between 22 and 48 meters and a total of 8 floors, the publishing building stands out from the rest of the buildings in its vicinity.

The Paris Rive Gauche district, where the new building was erected, has changed a lot over the last 40 years. Initially, the district was dedicated to the transfer of goods between the surrounding countryside and the city, and specialized, mainly, in supplying the "Halls of Paris". But the economic turnaround brought new challenges, which is why the district is now one of the biggest urban renewal tasks in all of Paris. Since 1991, Paris Rive Gauche has been overseen and marketed by a development company that is helping to turn the district into a modern district, with office buildings as well as hotels and restaurants.
The new publishing house of the Le Monde Group is clearly the first step in the right direction. Thanks to its façade of more than 20 000 glass panels, the building glistens and shimmers, drawing all the attention to the district.

Not only its external appearance, but above all, the construction and the difficult adaptation to the surroundings make the building a real eye-catcher.
Since the railway tracks run only nine meters below the building, the architects had to adapt directly to the surroundings. They accepted the challenge and developed a bridge constellation so that only the two ends of the building, where the entrances are also located, have to bear the load of the full construction.
A steel construction without a concrete core makes it possible to erect such a building with 22 500 m² of usable space on, in effect, only two foundation piles, which is why it already won the "Grand Prix SIMI" real estate award in December 2020 in the category "new office building with more than 10 000 m²".
The connecting bridge element made of steel spans an extensive public space that creates enough room for seating and bicycle parking.

The functional and aesthetically pleasing building, which is the only one to creatively implement the complex and complicated urban environment, forms an inviting gateway to the new district and lends its immediate surroundings to form and support in a modern architectural style.

Modernity, however, can not only be found in the structure and the almost legible façade of the building, but also in the interior. Due to the glass window façade running all around, a lot of light and brightness streams into the interior of the building. The huge offices of the individual newspapers of the Le Monde Group creates space for a total of 1600 employees and are spatially separated from each other by white steel beams that remain visible.

The few doors inside the building are adorned with the Karcher ES3 stainless steel pull handle in satin stainless steel. The Karcher design stainless steel pull handle can be used universally for various doors thanks to its shape and construction. For example, for glass, wooden or upvc doors. It is available in more than 10 lengths - from 300 to 2000mm - and since 2021 also in the award-winning scratch-resistant color Cosmos Black. Thanks to its convenient handling with a diameter of 32mm and its simple and timeless design in satin stainless steel, it nestles up against the doors of the building and blends in with the bright and modern interior design.

Functionality, simplicity and modernity can therefore also be found inside the Le Monde building with the Karcher ES3 design pull handle in satin stainless steel complimenting its contemporary appeal.



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