Snøhetta Chosen to Design Le Monde Headquarters in Paris

© Snøhetta

French media company Le Monde Group has chosen Snøhetta to design their new headquarters in . Clad with a pixelated matrix of glass that offers varying degrees of transparency, the building’s distinct facade will be embedded with clusters of LEDs that project “abstracted levels of data,” symbolically representing the group’s continuous “flow of information.”

“The intention is that the façade gives the building a homogenous character when viewed from distance, but at the same time reveals a greater level of complexity as the view approaches – like headlines and detailed content in a news story,” says Snøhetta. “The façade patterns are intended to represent the building as a complete volume, while the distorted pixel map creates a rich tapestry from inside and out.”

Jean Nouvel Boycotts Opening of the Philharmonie de Paris, Saying It Is “Not Finished”

The concert hall under construction. Image © Yves Chanoit

Ateliers Jean Nouvel’s long awaited opening of the Philharmonie de  concert hall took place yesterday at a VIP event in which the French President, Francois Hollande, officiated the ceremony three years after it was scheduled to take place. Jean Nouvel, however, did not attend the event, instead writing an incendiary column for French Newspaper Le Monde, and releasing a statement saying he feels that the building has opened “too early” and it ”is not finished.” He argues that “there were no acoustic tests of the concert hall [as] the schedule did not allow the architectural and technical requirements to be respected, [...] despite all the warnings which I have been giving since 2013.”

SANAA’s Plans For La Samaritaine in Paris Blocked Once Again

Rendering (2011). Image © SANAA

An appeals court has revoked permission for SANAA’s restoration of the landmark Art Deco La Samaritaine department store in . The plans, which would see a comprehensive overhaul of the 19th-century structure that finally shut its doors in 2005 following four decades in decline, would create an all-new shopping centre and luxury hotel as part of a 70,000m² mixed use development.

The project, commissioned by the LVMH conglomerate – which owns brands like Dom Pérignon, Givenchy, Louis Vuitton and BVLGARI - was halted because “the wavy, etched-glass facade proposed [SANAA] did not meet local planning requirements and was out of character with the surrounding buildings.” It is understood that La Samaritaine will now appeal to the Council of State, France’s highest administrative court. The city of has mentioned in a separate statement that it would also support this latest appeal.

Primary School For Sciences And Biodiversity / Chartier Dalix Architectes

© P. Guignard

Architects: Chartier Dalix Architectes
Location: , France
Area: 6766.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: P. Guignard, Cyrille Weiner, David Foessel

Musée des Confluences / Coop Himmelb(l)au

© Duccio Malagamba

Architects: Coop Himmelb(l)au
Location: 86 Quai Perrache, 69002 ,
Area: 46476.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Duccio Malagamba

Place Olympe de Gouges et Allée des Ateliers à Pantin / 2/3/4/

© Clément Guillaume

Architects: 2/3/4/
Location: Pantin,
Project Manager: Agate Mordka
Area: 4341.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Clément Guillaume

Françoise Dorleac School / DE-SO

© Hervé Abbadie

Architects: DE-SO
Location: ,
Area: 4680.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Hervé Abbadie

The Jetty to the Mont-Saint-Michel / Dietmar Feichtinger Architectes

© Mathias Neveling

Architects: Dietmar Feichtinger Architectes
Location: Mont Saint-Michel, 50170 Mont Saint-Michel,
Project Team: José Luis Fuentes, Christian Wittmeir, Guy Deshayes, Mathias Neveling, Arne Speiser
Competition Team : Christian Schmölz, Gabriel Augier, Rupert Siller, Ulrike Plos, Barbara Feichtinger-Felber, Michael Felder, Wolfgang Juen, Frank Hinterleithner, Paul-Eric Schirr-Bonnans, José-Luis Fuentes, Armelle Lavalou
Year: 2014
Photographs: Mathias Neveling, Pavel Rak, David Boureau, Michael Zimmermann

Vincent Callebaut’s 2050 Vision of Paris as a “Smart City”

View of the comprehensive city plan. Image Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architecture

Addressing ’ housing and density issues, French firm Vincent Callebaut Architectures has developed a proposal for multiple high-rise buildings with positive energy output (BEPOS). Comprised of eight multi-use structures inhabiting various locations within Paris, the plan strives to address major problems affecting each district, while providing key functions for the city. 

Théâtre d’eau Swimming Pool / LOG Architectes

© Edouard Decam

Architects: LOG Architectes
Location: ,
Area: 8000.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Edouard Decam

2 in 1: Intergenerational House / TICA architecture

Courtesy of

Architects: TICA architecture
Location: , France
Area: 260.0 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Courtesy of TICA architecture

Ricardo Porro, Architect of Cuba’s National Art Schools, Dies at 89

School of Ballet by Vittorio Garatti . Image © Adrián Guerra Rey via places.designobserver.com

Ricardo Porro, the leading architect behind Cuba’s National Art Schools - one of the largest architectural achievements of the Cuban Revolution – has died of heart failure in at the age of 89. After spending nearly a half a century in exile, Porro lived long enough to see his two arts schools reemerged on the world stage as “crown jewels of modern Cuban architecture.”

“When I received this commission, I thought there had not been a good expression of revolution in architecture,” Porro said in a 2011 interview with The Atlantic. “I wanted to create in that school the expression of revolution. What I felt at that moment was an emotional explosion.” Read the full New York Times obituary, here.

Aquatic Centre Montigny-les-Metz / DRD Architecture

© Gregoire Auger

Architects: DRD Architecture
Location: , France
Area: 2720.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Gregoire Auger

Château de Rentilly Refurbishment as FRAC Ile-de-France Arts Centre / Bona-Lemercier

© Florian Kleinefenn

Architects: Bona-Lemercier
Location: Rentilly, 77600 ,
Partners : Xavier Veilhan, artist and Alexis Bertrand, scenographer
Area: 1350.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Florian Kleinefenn

Arte Charpentier Architectes Unveils Plans for Calais Congress Centre

Exterior plaza at night. Image ©

Nestled into the coastal landscape of Calais on the northern coast of France, Arte Charpentier Architectes have unveiled their design for the Calais Congress Centre, a hub for cultural and social activity in the bustling city. Located along the English Channel, the centre will provide remarkable views of the water and ships entering the city’s commercial port. The curvilinear centre will mimic the lush green landscape while echoing the energy of the city with an asymmetrical, ethereal design which includes flexible public space, exhibition halls, meeting rooms, and two hotels all shrouded by an elegant curtain of glass.

Enter the Calais Cultural Centre with images and info after the break

Redline / Pietri Architectes

Courtesy of

Architects: Pietri Architectes
Location: , France
Area: 4300.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of Pietri Architectes

Aquatic Centre Louviers / DRD Architecture

© Gregoire Auger

Architects: DRD Architecture
Location: , France
Area: 5190.0 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Gregoire Auger

Multicultural Centre in Isbergues / Dominique Coulon & Associés

© David Romero-Uzeda

Architects: Dominique Coulon & Associés
Location: Rue Léon Blum, 62330 ,
Architects In Charge: Dominique Coulon, Steve Letho Duclos
Project Assistant: Gautier Duthoit
Area: 3928.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: David Romero-Uzeda, Guillaume Wittmann