Ever since the company’s move to 40, rue de Sèvres, Kering planned for this architectural jewel to remain open to the public. This is why the Group listed the building in the European Heritage Days program, with a twofold ambition: to share the history of this exceptional site, but also that of the Group (discover the history of Kering).
Focusing on the theme of “Sustainable Heritage,” the 39th edition of European Heritage Days spotlights the many challenges related to the preservation of heritage against the background of climate change. Heritage is a driving force for both the economic and tourist development of regions and the preservation of craftsmanship. Today, heritage looks to the future, raising the question of the continuity of traditions: how do we restore and maintain historical monuments while meeting the environmental standards and Sustainable Development Goals of the UN Agenda 2030?
Covering an area of 17,200 m², the Kering headquarters required many years of restoration to develop a workplace that satisfies current requirements while protecting the uniqueness of the site. It is among the first historic monuments to earn the French Haute Qualité Environnementale certification (HQE Renovation). In 2018, 40, rue de Sèvres became the first French historic site to obtain BREEAM In-Use certification, the HQE British equivalent. For the gardens, which make up more than half the size of the site, Kering bans the use of chemical products, allowing nature to have its way. One of the site’s gardens contains five beehives, a reminder of Kering’s commitment to biodiversity. A number of sustainability measures are practiced at 40, rue de Sèvres. These include water efficiency and waste recycling initiatives as well as a catering area to ensure that all employees can enjoy healthy and nutritious meals, free of single-use containers.
Situated at the heart of Paris’ 7th arrondissement, 40, rue de Sèvres housed the Laennec Hospital until 2000. Construction of the former hospital began in 1632. Half the space is devoted to gardens, in the style of the great Parisian hospitals. Drawn to the site’s singular architecture and rich history, among other features, the Group embarked on an ambitious renovation project. Thanks to its location architecture and history, 40, rue de Sèvres is a major cultural landmark.
To celebrate this year’s Heritage Days, Kering has designed a new itinerary allowing visitors to discover almost all of Laennec’s spaces. The tour begins in the impressive main courtyard, with a scale model of the site and educational content to help visitors appreciate the full scope of the location. It continues in the chapel of the former Laennec Hospital with a selection of contemporary works of art. As is custom since 2016, Kering has partnered with the Pinault Collection to develop an original exhibition, this year featuring the works of Belgian artist, Edith Dekyndt. Visitors can then enter the Croix Est area—the home of Balenciaga—and admire archive pieces created by Cristóbal Balenciaga, before ending with a stroll through the Laennec gardens or a visit to a large-scale photo exhibition where they can discover other historic buildings restored by Kering in Paris.
40, rue de Sèvres – Paris 7th arrondissement
Open to the public Saturday September 17 and Sunday September 18, from 10am to 7pm*, with an evening event on Saturday 17 until 10pm*.
*Last entry one hour before closing time.