Richard Meier & Partners Architects LLP

Canal+ Headquarters

Paris, France

1988 - 1992

Located on the left bank of the Seine just west of the Pont Mirabeau and east of the Parc Citroën, this L-shaped television headquarters building borders two sides of a public park. On one side, an office slab varying from five to eight stories in height, tapering in plan, faces northwest over the Seine river. The other side consists of a four-story studio block facing northeast onto the rue de Cévennes, with a truncated, conical screening room punching up through it. The four television studios have been partially sunk into the ground to comply with zoning height limitations. Each studio may be accessed from its own separate street entrance or, alternatively, from an internal circulation spine. Between this opaque mass and the office slab is a glazed, dematerialized, 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. Aerial bridges spanning the foyer link the production and administration wings, encouraging internal communication.

Faced with white enameled-steel paneling, the exterior of the building is relieved by cantilevered terraces and by horizontal sun screens and vertical brise soleils that modulate the surface of both the street and the park elevations. Small, opaque glazed panels animate the louverless curved segment of the northwest river façade. The “urban window” cut out of this office slab was provided to comply with certain zoning requirements. The implicitly civic character of the complex is reinforced by its relationship to the park and by a monumental butterfly roof sailing over the offices facing the park.

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