Kering proudly throws open its listed-building headquarters
On 17th and 18th September, for the 33rd edition of European Heritage Days, Kering is throwing open its new Parisian headquarters, located within the historic Laënnec hospital at 40, rue de Sèvres.
It is a unique opportunity to discover this XVIIth century building listed as a historic monument. It was closed down in 2000, and after six years of renovations which began in 2010, it has now been painstakingly brought back to its former glory under the aegis of Benjamin Mouton, France's Chief Architect of Historic Monuments.
As soon as you enter the main courtyard, the tone is set. This elegant building in white stone and red brick plunges you four centuries back into the past, as an almost monastic atmosphere permeates the building's eight cloister-like gardens and its imposing, high-vaulted galleries.
"It's unique, incredible! You don't feel as though you are in Paris. When you enter these quiet gardens, in the morning, it's magical," commented some of the group's employees, who moved to the new headquarters in June, relocating from those in avenue Hoche. Kering is renting the premises from insurance multinational Allianz, which bought the historic monument in 2000 from Paris' Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux (the public hospital institution).
The hub of the 17,000 m² building is its chapel, which was entirely recreated, preserving its original features like the rest of the structure, which extends in the shape of a cross on either side of the chapel.
On the left are Kering's offices. On the right, the Balenciaga fashion house with its ateliers, offices and a huge showroom. Altogether, 300 people work in the building. The renovation was carried out following eco-sustainable criteria, and was commissioned to the Frédéric Druot agency.
On Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th September, the public will also be able to admire a selection of artworks from the Pinault Collection, and one of haute couture models from the Balenciaga archives.
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