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French office building is like a real-life MC Escher drawing

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The building is wrapped in a maze of stairs

Building wrapped in stairs Photo: Cyrille Weiner

For some architects, the facade is a place for functionality. For others, it’s pure art. This new building from architects Dimitri Roussel and Nicolas Laisné, strikes a perfect balance between the two.

The office building sits in the middle of Nice’s Nice Meridia development. Its large white facade is wrapped in a series of angled stairways that cut across the building like a real-life MC Escher drawing.

The choice to design a building with an exterior circulation was partially functional. “I like the idea of a building that offers spaces where people can meet,” Roussel told Wallpaper. “Staircases are the perfect alibi to do this in the context of office program, where every square meter has to be used (and sold) as a working space.”

Platform overlooking city Photo: Cyrille Weiner
Building with white stairways on the outside Photo: Cyrille Weiner

But they’ve done it in a way that doesn’t sacrifice playfulness. The stairways criss-cross each other, creating an op-art effect that semi-obscures the windows. It’s the kind of choice that works given the Mediterranean climate. Trees and plants dot the platforms that lead from one level to the next, and terraces line the exterior, giving workers plenty of opportunities to take in the views of Nice.