What makes 106 rue du Temple such an exciting proposition for both of you?
Loïc Henriot: We were immediately struck by the amazing potential of this building and its location in Le Marais, in the heart of Paris. It is a former telephone exchange built in 1927, which gives it unique characteristics that you don’t usually see in conventional offices – very high ceilings, incredible natural light and large open floor spaces with no pillars. There is an outstanding 360‑degree view from the roof, which we will turn into a terrace that can accommodate up to 200 people.
Réda Nafaa: Once we saw this building there was no more discussion of other options. We want to attract talented people to Ledger and our idea is to create a kind of work environment that they have never seen before. This building has incredible potential and a great location, which is very inspiring for the creative people who work at Ledger. Le Marais is pedestrianized and has great restaurants, bars and places to socialize. It is a great way to physically represent our brand.
OF OFFICE SPACE
What are the major challenges of converting this building into a modern, Grade A office space?
LH: Our main challenge was to design a project that would fully realize the possibilities of this building while respecting its history. The façade on rue du Temple is listed and so had to be preserved and we also needed to change the building’s classification from high‑rise to low‑rise, which required a lot of discussion with city authorities and representatives of the French Ministry of Culture. In line with our ESG policies, we targeted the top environmental and technical certifications for the project such as BREEAM, HQE, Effinergie and Wiredscore, which had major implications because the building had not been refurbished in nearly 100 years.
RN: For us the major challenge is that our headcount is growing fast, and the building will not be delivered until the end of Q1 next year. Today we are around 600 people with a target for 2022 of reaching around 800 employees in France and 1,200 globally. We are expanding very quickly and there are already questions about how many people we will have in 2023.
OF ACCESSIBLE OUTDOOR SPACE
What does this project tell us about the future of offices and city centers?
RN: Covid‑19 has changed the way people want to work, which we cannot ignore, but we must bring them together to enable innovation and fresh ideas to happen. I have no intention of dictating to people how much they should be in the office – when they walk in to this building, we want them to be wowed from start to finish so that they choose to be there. Our vision is to create a virtuous environment that is safe and secure but also uses biophilic design that fosters natural light and the wellbeing of our employees.
LH: Le Marais is not a traditional CBD location, but it is a trendy district that is very central and accessible. We believe city centers are going to become more mixed and that this will create better living and working environments.
OF ROOFTOP WITH PANORAMIC VIEWS
CERTIFICATIONS TARGETED (BREEAM, HQE, EFFINERGIE AND WIREDSCORE)