The Art of Information

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Round a curve on a winding road in Saint Romain au Mont d'Or, a medieval village 9 km north of Lyons, and you come upon a fortress-like compound straight out of a James Bond movie. Built in the 16th century as a way station for horse-drawn carriages, the three-hectare domain features a helicopter landing pad, a sensor-based thermography security system, 130 computers and seven plasma screens for videoconferencing.

The domain is De la Source, and its master is French businessman Thierry Ehrmann. He uses the 6,900 sq m of interior space as his home, which he shares...