With the completion of its new headquarters designed by Snøhetta in collaboration with local architects SRA Architectes, the 1,600 employees of the Le Monde Group have been brought together under the same roof in a generously arching building in the 13th arrondissement of Paris. Inspired by the newspaper group’s iconic history, our design team has developed a highly flexible modular wayfinding system that pays tribute to the tradition and art of newspaper printing.
The wayfinding system has been developed in close collaboration with art directors from the Le Monde Group publications, sparking insightful conversations on the European letterpress’ impact on democratization of information and the subtle yet powerful art of typography.
Through its historic references to the revolutionizing societal impact of letterpress printing, the wayfinding echoes the building’s ambitions of providing the public access to information and physical space.
Carved from singular wooden types assembled in a galvanized steel frame, this intuitive and tactile wayfinding system echoes the adaptable character of modern-day newsrooms in a technology-driven age.
Available in three different font sizes, the wooden types are produced in more than 18,000 specimens assembled throughout the eight stories of the 23,000 m2 building.
By subtly merging modern references with the touch and feel of a time when the employees of Le Monde still could hear the cylinders of their rotary press roar in their offices at noon sharp, the modular wayfinding intelligently synthetizes past and present in a physical expression of effortless flexibility.