40, rue de Sèvres
Kering moved to 40, rue de Sèvres in 2016. The unique and unconventional landmark at the heart of Paris’ 7th arrondissement, housed the Laennec Hospital up until 2000. Drawn by the site’s singular architecture and rich history, among other features, the Group embarked on an ambitious renovation project. Guided tour.
“This place embodies our identity as a luxury Group in motion, conveying an audacious form of luxury, free to make its own choices.”François-Henri Pinault
By establishing its head office at 40, rue de Sèvres, Kering chose an inimitable site owing to its exceptional architecture and extremely rich past. Indeed, it meant a major challenge to bring life back to 17,200 m2 immersed in nearly four centuries of history, and give it a new purpose.
The Laennec Hospital
Well known to Parisians as a landmark hospital for the poor, the Laennec Hospital, or “Hospital for the Incurables”, was gradually built from 1632 to 1937. Renamed the Laennec Hospital in 1878, its services were transferred to the Georges-Pompidou Hospital in 2000.
Its distinctively sober architecture is in keeping with the lineage of great Parisian hospitals such as the Invalides or the Salpêtrière. However, successive demolitions, extensions or gutting of the buildings over the centuries, altered its original appearance.
A new lease of life
Despite severe deterioration, the 40, rue de Sèvres site clearly held enormous potential. Set in an area dear to fashion creators and the luxury industry, its architecture combines elegance and sobriety. The Group was strongly inspired by the site’s instantly perceptible rare beauty and sense of harmony. From the beginning, Kering was actively involved in restoring and renovating the premises.
A challenge worthy of the site’s rich history. The project entailed taking into account modern building norms while preserving the original architectural style. It meant accounting for heritage-listed spaces and considering each room’s history. A tremendously complex restoration project took place between 2010 and 2016, after a study of several months by Benjamin Mouton, Chief Architect for France’s historical monuments.
As work progressed, the hospital’s architecture came to life, revealing facades, arches and unsuspected spaces. Infinite care went into every lay out, choice of materials and hue. Today, 40, rue de Sèvres is a universe of harmony where past and present respectfully coexist; a decisively unique environment and an exceptional setting to grow and work in.
Reconstruction by landscape gardener, Philippe Raguin in keeping with its historical and peaceful atmosphere based on old drawings.
The Druot firm coordinated the architectural transformation, which involved demanding aesthetical style in line with original volumes and materials.
A space welcoming the arts… and the world
Kering wishes this architectural jewel, which it is now privileged to occupy, to be accessible to all. The Group considers European Heritage Days as an opportunity to open 40, rue de Sèvres to the public and offer an unprecedented overview on art and fashion. Since 2016, visitors can discover a selection of works of contemporary art from the Pinault Collection and creations from the Balenciaga House archives. Neighbors, Parisians or tourists from afar: 40, rue de Sèvres has so far welcomed nearly 30,000 visitors.