40, rue de Sèvres

40, rue de Sèvres - Cour d'honneur ©Thierry Depagne
40 rue de Sèvres - Cour d'honneur ©Thierry Depagne
Well known to Parisians as the former Laennec Hospital until 2000, 40, rue de Sèvres in Paris’ 7th arrondissement is now home to Kering's and Balenciaga's head offices. Originally founded as the "Hospital for the incurables" in 1634, it was renamed "Hôpital Laennec" in 1878.
This historic site, which is one of the heritage treasures of the capital, will open its doors to the public on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 September 2018 for the 35th edition of the European Heritage Days.

Visitors will discover a selection of contemporary artwork from the Pinault Collection, never-seen-before filmed archives from the Balenciaga archives, as well as take a virtual reality journey into the history of the site.

Kering 40, rue de Sèvres_illustration Pierre Le-Tan
40, rue de Sèvres - illustration © Pierre Le-Tan

       For three years now, we have been offering visitors the opportunity to discover in the chapel of this architectural gem built in the 17th century, an exhibition of works from the Pinault Collection that creates a unique dialogue between heritage and contemporary creation. I am keen on the idea that this site, founded under the reign of Louis XIII and constantly reinvented without ever betraying its authenticity, opens up its doors each year to an ever-increasing public. It is true that we are deeply attached to the legacy of past centuries, and also marvel at how today's creators continue to shape art and our future heritage.

François-Henri Pinault

Chairman and CEO of Kering



Dedicated to caring for the poor for nearly 370 years following its establishment in 1634, the “Hospital for the incurables” was renamed “Hôpital Laennec” in 1878. It is part of the lineage of Paris’ great hospitals, which includes the Invalides and Salpêtrière, Laennec distinguishes itself through its sober architecture.
The 17,200 m² of the central buildings, located on either side of a chapel built during the reign of Louis XIII, now house Kering’s and Balenciaga’s offices.
The preliminary study of the renovation project, which was entrusted to Benjamin Mouton, Chief architect of France’s historical monuments, unveiled the unusual history of the site. The renovation was an immensely complex challenge: making the best of the premises while losing none of its original charm, recapturing its former beauty without erasing the rich history that saw it evolve over nearly four centuries. Furthermore, all this had to be done while respecting the historically classified status of certain elements, such as the chapel, and ensuring that the entire area could accommodate a working environment in line with contemporary expectations and requirements.

  • 40, rue de Sèvres - Cour d'honneur ©Thierry Depagne
  • 40, rue de Sèvres - Voutes, bâtiments centraux ©Thierry Depagne

After ten years of study and three years of work, the former hospice has been restored to its historic appearance and has taken on new roles that will now help safeguard its existence.

Benjamin Mouton,

Chief architect of France's historic monuments



Respect for modernity and stringent environmental standards – a concern that underpins Kering’s entire strategy and business approach – is also reflected in the project’s compliance with the highest standards of environmental protection. Fitted with the latest in working comfort and technology, 40, rue de Sèvres is among the first historical monuments to be awarded the French HQE1 environmental label.



In order to adhere as closely as possible to the range of plant life available in 17th and 18th century Europe, but also to recapture the quasi-religious atmosphere that used to characterise these gardens – half vegetable plots, half places for contemplation – Raguin opted for a simple and serene approach featuring soft colours. The resulting gardens exude a certain serenity and calm all year round, drawn from this fairly austere approach.

        When I began to work on the site around five years ago, what struck me the most was seeing this sort of tiny jewel emerging, an extraordinary space that seemed to exist outside of Paris itself. The city is right on our doorstep and yet we are in another place where all is calm and silent. A garden is always the result of a joint effort. The peacefulness that emanates from these gardens no doubt brought us together and helped us in succeeding to restore the gardens to their former glory.

Philippe Raguin,

Landscape gardener