Christmas in New York

Christmas in New York

I was in Paris a couple of weeks ago and had the opportunity to visit a couple of large construction sites being managed by Bouygues, the French company which is building Triangle, our new Cambridge Head Office. One of the sites was the new Palais de Justice, situated in Clichy–Batignolles on the northern edge of Paris which, when Christmas in New York prison cell in Parisfinished, will be the largest law court complex in Europe. The complex is designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano and includes court rooms, a police headquarters, administrative offices and holding cells for prisoners in the basement. The project is due for completion at the end of this year and it was interesting to see the mock-up court rooms, where different types of furniture were being tried out before the final fit out, and the as yet unfinished and so far unoccupied holding cells, in which prisoners will be held while waiting to be taken into court. As you can see in the picture (above left), the cells perfectly fulfill the architectural aspiration of marrying form and function, and provide an intriguing contrast to the rooftop garden which has just been planted with trees and where judges will be able to enjoy fine views of Paris (pictured below) during trial breaks.
Christmas in New York view of Paris from roof - image
We then went to the Ile Seguin in western Paris, the island home of the former Renault factory. The whole site is around 74 hectares, and a major arts venue is being created featuring two music halls, residence halls for artists, recording studios and galleries, all powered by green technology and solar power. In contrast to the Christmas in New York porcupine roof in Parisfunctional design of the law courts, the architects responsible for this ‘City of Music’ as it will be known (Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastines) have created a dome of braided wood, appropriately designed for the island site to appear as if it were floating on water, with solar panels that have been arranged into a large self-powering ‘sail’ (pictured below) that will follow the path of the sun and shade the interior. There were, again, spectacular views from the rooftop, which had a porcupine-like appearance as the final roof cladding will be laid on top of the studs in the picture (above right), in order to ensure good sound insulation.
Christmas in New York solar power sail in Paris
Our own project with Bouyges continues apace, with time-lapse footage of the demolition and construction process uploaded to YouTube on a monthly basis and the #TriangleArt project involving students from all over the world taking shape, using multilingual interpretations of what ‘knowledge’ means to them.
Christmas in New York Manhattan Office Team with Simon Lebus - image
This month also took me to the US, with a visit to our new offices in Manhattan. Along with our Group Strategy Director, Leo Shapiro, I met the team (pictured left) who are responsible for Cambridge International Examinations’ New York operation.

And with the temperature in Manhattan in the high 20s (though definitely not here as I write today from my Cambridge office,Christmas in New York shop window displaywhere we’ve reportedly seen a month’s worth of rain fall in six hours) it was incongruous to come across a shop named ‘Christmas in New York’, (shop front pictured at the top of the page and window display on the right) which is stocked to the rafters with decorations and Christmas trees all year round.

Simon Lebus
Group Chief Executive, Cambridge Assessment