Group

2022 European Heritage Days: Sustainable Heritage

For the seventh consecutive year, Kering will be opening the doors of its headquarters, the former Laennec Hospital, during the European Heritage Days. This year’s program features a discovery of the Group’s architectural, cultural and artistic heritage, through a special exhibition of artworks from the Pinault Collection as well as archive pieces created by Cristóbal Balenciaga. Join us on September 17 and 18 to share this moment of discovery and wonder.

Kering and the European Heritage Days

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. 

A tour showcasing art, fashion and architecture

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. 

©Sophie Alyz for Kering

©Sophie Alyz for Kering

©Sophie Alyz for Kering

©Sophie Alyz for Kering

©Sophie Alyz for Kering

©Sophie Alyz for Kering

Line-up

“Aria of Inertia”, by Edith Dekyndt – Pinault Collection

To mark this 39th European Heritage Days program, the Pinault Collection will curate a solo exhibition by the artist, Edith Dekyndt. For the first time ever, the Pinault Collection exhibition will form part of Kering’s Women In Motion program, which shines a light on women in the world of arts and culture.

The “Aria of Inertia” exhibition sparks interactions between existing works and new productions, specifically designed for the event. The influence of the Laennec chapel extends beyond hosting the Belgian artist’s works, having inspired some of them by determining the physical processes and materials. The beauty and force of Edith Dekyndt’s art stem from her belief that every object is a living organism, constantly interacting and resonating with its host environment.


Photos © Diane Arques / ADAGP, 2022

Scrunch, 2022
Broken glass embroidered on velvet, 214 × 214 cm

Photos © Diane Arques / ADAGP, 2022

Des robes au-delà du temps”, Balenciaga

Through archive pieces created by Cristóbal Balenciaga, visitors are given a rare opportunity to take a deep dive into the House’s history and discover a different side of its creative heritage. These models will be juxtaposed with the creations of Demna, Balenciaga’s Artistic Director, who reintroduced the brand’s Haute Couture collection in 2021 after a 53-year break.


Credits: ©Eric Sander

In 2001, Balenciaga set up an archive and heritage department dedicated to preservation, promotion, and creation, establishing a policy of conservation and acquisition of Cristóbal Balenciaga’s creations. Today, more than 900 pieces by the Spanish master enrich the collections of this heritage department.


Credits: ©Eric Sander

Balenciaga was founded in San Sebastian (Spain), in 1917, by Cristóbal Balenciaga (1895-1972). Forced to flee the Spanish Civil War, the designer moved to Paris in 1937, where he found immediate success through the exceptional quality of his creations coupled with his radical designs and silhouettes, not to mention his many innovations and his modern and unique vision.


Credits: ©Eric Sander

Kering and Paris

For Kering, the preservation of heritage contributes to the collective memory and richness of the city. Aside from 40 rue de Sèvres, the Group has lent its support to the renovation of several historic buildings in Paris. At the end of the tour, a large-scale photo exhibition gives visitors the opportunity to discover these renovations, including the Hôtel de Nocé, headquarters of Boucheron, and the former Penthemont Abbey, headquarters of Saint Laurent.


Credits: Sophie Alyz for Kering

Hôtel de Nocé | Boucheron

Credits: ©Marie Hamel

Former Penthemont Abbey | Saint Laurent

Credits: Courtesy of Saint Laurent

Rue Monsieur | Kering Imagination Lab

Credits: ©Marie Hamel

Historic Couture salon | Balenciaga

Credits: ©Marie Hamel

Bourse de Commerce | Pinault Collection

Credits: Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection
© Tadao Ando Architect & Associates, Niney et Marca Architectes, Agence Pierre-Antoine Gatier © Studio Bouroullec

Practical information

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.