Canal +

A new landmark on the left bank of the Seine offers a powerful gesture of connection to the surrounding city.

The headquarters for this premium French media brand occupies an L-shaped building bordering two sides of a public park, with office spaces concentrated in one arm of the L and four television studios housed in the other.  A monumental butterfly roof sailing over the offices facing the park establishes the building as a prominent urban presence.

One side of the L shape, tapering in plan and varying from five to eight stories in height, houses the Canal + offices, which enjoy sweeping views over the Seine River to the Northwest. The other side of the building’s mass consists of a four-story studio block, which faces northeast onto the rue de Cévennes. The four television studios have been partially sunk into the ground to comply with zoning height limitations, and each can be accessed individually from its own separate street entrance or, alternatively, from an internal circulation spine. Between these two masses is a dramatic, transparent-glazed three-story foyer with a canopy cantilevered over the street entrance. The opposite end of this foyer is intended to be accessed from the park, so the foyer can be used as a pedestrian right-of-way between the park and the rue de Cévennes. 

The exterior of the building is faced with white enameled-steel paneling, with additional texture provided by cantilevered terraces, horizontal sun screens, and vertical brise-soleils that modulate the building’s surfaces of both the street and the park elevations. A curved segment of the northwest river façade has been envisioned as a monumental “urban window” cut out of the building’s mass, reinforcing its civic character.