Introduction to the building 

Le monde Group headquarters, Paris by Snøhetta-Sheet1
aeril view of le monde _©Ludwig Favre

The 1,600 workers of the Le Monde Group are now housed under one roof in a spacious, arched structure on 67–69 Avenue Pierre-Mendès-France in the 13th arrondissement of Paris, following the completion of its new headquarters. The building offers residents and onlookers a welcome break from daily life, connecting them to neighboring transportation and the public with its striking new plaza and semi-transparent exterior skin. 

Le monde Group headquarters, Paris by Snøhetta-Sheet2
plan of le monde _©Snøhetta

The journal l’Obs, which is also owned by the group’s owners, and the Le Monde Group, which includes some of France‘s most well-known publications like Le Monde, Courrier International, Télérama, La Vie, and HuffPost, are housed under one roof in their new location. The six newsrooms, which were formerly dispersed over several locations in Paris, now reside together on the Rive Gauche while still maintaining their identities and spaces within the structure.

Le monde Group headquarters, Paris by Snøhetta-Sheet3
showing the openness of Le Monde’s facade and site _©dezeen

Around the sweeping Snøhetta-designed French daily newspaper Le Monde offices in Paris is a pixelated skin composed of thousands of glass tiles. Located in the 13th arrondissement of the city, the office houses newsrooms for all of the magazines owned by the French media business Le Monde Group under one roof for the first time. The semi-transparent shell of the building spans a newly created plaza and houses public amenities developed by Snøhetta in collaboration with a local firm SRA, intending to foster communication between the public and the enterprise. 


Le monde Group headquarters, Paris by Snøhetta-Sheet4
section of le monde _©Snøhetta

Two weeks after the terrorist shootings of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris in 2015, Snøhetta unveiled the design for the Le Monde Group Headquarters.

Thus, the design’s transparency speaks to the value of free expression and underscores Le Monde Group’s intention to keep information accessible to all.

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public space of le monde _©Snøhetta

These priorities were questioned at the same moment that the initiative itself was born. In early 2015, shortly after the attacks on Charlie Hebdo Magazine’s headquarters, the Le Monde Group was debating architectural proposals for their future home. They finally decided on Snøhetta and local partner SRA’s design, choosing a structure that maintains open communication with the people of Paris. 

Le monde Group headquarters, Paris by Snøhetta-Sheet6
drawings of le monde _©Snøhetta

The Le Monde Group Headquarters has served as an architectural and symbolic counterweight to the various issues that our societies are currently facing since its founding. In an era when fear and uncertainty drive our societies to erect more walls and bolster security enforcement, the building’s main message is one of opening up. In this way, the project challenges us to consider how architecture might design areas that are transparent or opaque, exterior and internal, or public and private. Kjetil Traedal Thorsen, Founding Partner of Snøhetta, states, “Like so many other projects, it’s a hybrid building that explores the interstices of architecture and that is conceived to be at the service of the public.”

Le monde Group headquarters, Paris by Snøhetta-Sheet7
plan of le monde _©Snøhetta

Situated near the famed Gare d’Austerlitz railway station, the property has proximity to both the historic Latin Quarter and the beautifully landscaped Jardin des Plantes. With two seven-story cantilevering volumes held together by an intricate web of steel, the building’s concave form spans the below-grade railyard. It is anchored on both sides. Three expressive “cuts” define the building mass: the “sky cut” exposes the slanted roof covered in solar panels; the “city cut” recedes the building from its street-facing facade; and the “ground cut” sculpts the underside of the bridging structure, enclosing the new public plaza beneath its sweeping arched form.

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public patio of le monde _©Snøhetta

The construction process 

Le monde Group headquarters, Paris by Snøhetta-Sheet9
system of constructions of le monde _©Snøhetta

According to Louis Dreyfus, CEO of the Le Monde Group, the building of the Le Monde Groupe Headquarters is a historic milestone for all of our publications. – Our building not only demonstrates the diversity of our newsrooms but also our editorial and artistic goals. Our new shared headquarters provides our 1,600 staff with bright workspaces, first-rate amenities, and areas set aside specifically for each newsroom—a valuable resource in a world where the need for high-quality information is only growing. Consequently, this guarantees that we will be able to provide journalistic content in the future and on all of our platforms in all formats—written or audiovisual.  

Le monde Group headquarters, Paris by Snøhetta-Sheet10
cast in concrete specked with led lights of le monde _©Snøhetta

As a result, the 80-meter-long structure is composed of two cantilevering volumes, each standing seven stories tall, that are joined by a sweeping arch composed of a network of steel. Snøhetta claimed that because the skyscraper “weighs more than the Eiffel Tower,” this was “a highly demanding engineering task.”The building’s cohesiveness is enhanced by the shimmering cladding, which is made up of more than 20,000 pixelated glass tiles. The transparency of these tiles varies, and their arrangement maximizes the amount of light and external views within the workplace. This produces a pixelated pattern that looks like letters from a newspaper from a distance. The only area where the glistening glass facade is broken is at the foot of the arch, where cast-in-place concrete is speckled with LED lights. The newly constructed central plaza just below it, which is likewise composed of concrete and has benches and greenery to entice people to stay, complements this.

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drawings showing construction detail of le monde _©Snøhetta

There is a small rooftop patio at the Le Monde Headquarters that is reachable from both sides of the structure. It offers views of the city and the Seine River to the workers and is bordered by greenery. Additionally, Snøhetta completed this year’s carbon-negative Powerhouse Telemark office, a plant-covered timber workplace in Austria, and a group of pentagonal hiking huts perched on a Norwegian glacier. 


A recent graduate, passionate about learning tangible and intangible concepts and ideas relating to space, time and people, is mostly interested in looking at how built spaces is a medium of cultural and social identity. Architecture for her is constant search. she is interested in representing built designs better with graphics,drawings and writing.