Key Dates

20 July 2023 - Launch Deadline
21 September 2023 - Standard Deadline
7 December 2023 - Extended Deadline
15 December 2023 - Judging
10 January - Winners Announced

Kering Pilot Study, Paris





Project Overview

Following the global COVID-19 outbreak, Kering sought to evaluate its working procedures to provide a more efficient, comfortable, and productive workplace for its employees.

To do this, Kering hired Unispace to test out new working methods in designated trial locations in their historic headquarters in Paris. To adapt to a landscape that has been eternally affected and in which people’s perceptions of what it means to go to work have changed, Kering was determined to attempt something new after a period of exceptional growth and development.

Kering is well-established and generally traditional in terms of work approach. This innovative project - a pilot space - would test new methods of working to create a contemporary, agile, and hybrid place of work within a listed French monument with a unique historic interior. Unispace needed a creative design approach to work within the walls of the past to create a workspace of the future…

Project Commissioner


Project Creator


Project Brief

Kering’s workspace is within a historic, former hospital furnished with its very own, on-site chapel. Far more than bricks and mortar, the listed, historic monument boasts an array of heritage features ranging from elegant original windows, decorative internal mouldings and a sleek parquet timber floor. Not to mention the heritage value of all the aforementioned as a standing tribute to the Parisian past.

Once redesigned, the finished workplace would house 62 Kering employees within a relatively small floor plan measuring 753 sqm in an L-shape configuration. This presented the Unispace designers with the challenge of creating an innovative, contemporary and diverse space that was also fundamentally elegant yet functional.

Further complexity arose due to the L-shaped configuration of the floorplan. A compact space of long and narrow corridors that do not naturally lend themselves to the adoption of contemporary workspace typologies demanded a thoughtful and experienced design approach. An important part of the design process would be to ensure that the final design maximises the use of the whole floor plan. No space was to be left behind.

Measures of success would include; the establishment of a strong sense of brand and belonging, a diversity of space typologies that encouraged team members back to the workplace, a focus on talent development and retention, and respect for both the building in which the space is housed, as well as the many well-known global brands that call Kering home.

Project Innovation/Need

Creating an environment of inclusivity, collaboration and choice:
The designs’ primary focus is to ensure that every member of the Kering team enters an atmosphere of inclusivity, collaboration and choice.
A range of spatial typologies were factored into the design, empowering team members to choose zones that best suit their workday activities. An integration of a suite of three space typologies; focus spaces, collaboration spaces and social spaces that map out the floorplan into zones, create an intuitive and exploratory user experience.

Natural light dictated spatial allocations within the design, whereby collaborative and social spaces occupy peripheral areas in close adjunct to the building’s traditional windows while meeting rooms and offices have been positioned closer to the centre of the space.

Stylishly harmonising Kering’s brands:
The interior is sleek and stylish, understated and elegant, encapsulating the diverse array of brands – from Gucci to Saint Laurent, and McQueen, housed under the umbrella entity that is Kering. A subdued, neutral colour scheme enhances the effect of light while also making references to the building’s history, creating an interior with provenance that is modernised for the future. The interiors’ integration of historical elements, an exquisite colour scheme, and symbolic use of space are what give the concept its individuality. With the help of these three components, a compellingly modern workstation is produced, complete with a variety of different spatial typologies that support the adoption of flexible and hybrid working habits.

Design Challenge

Reimagining a relic of the past to create Kering’s future:

There were two main design challenges within this project: Firstly, working within a listed building that contains heritage features to create a workspace for numerous work typologies.

Secondly, designing a future-proofed workspace within a uniquely L-shaped floor plan.

Unispace designers had to think outside the box to reinvent a relic of the past and reinvigorate its relevance as a vehicle for future growth through the implementation of flexible, agile and hybrid working practices.

Conscious decisions were made to work with the building rather than struggle against it and highlight the structural and architectural features to make the building itself a key feature of the interior aesthetic. Not only would this add to the originality of the space but it would also demonstrate a considered stewardship and dedication to the preservation of the heritage asset for future generations. The team complemented this with an understated and elegant colour palette and allegorical use of space.

Working with the historic building was seen by both Kering and the Unispace project team as a privilege and an opportunity to reinvent a part of Parisian history. As a result of the work that our teams have undertaken on the project, some of the most historic architectural elements have been uncovered and reincorporated into the fabric of everyday life at Kering.


Our approach on-site is one in which respect for the environment (both ecological and architectural) is prioritised. Every opportunity to minimise waste and maximise energy efficiencies was taken to provide as green a service and as green a space as possible. To this end, the furnishings and acoustic materials maximise recycled components, while all lighting throughout the space is LED to minimise energy requirements and heat output.

Given that confidentiality was high on the list of project deliverables and that this was an HR floor where recruiting was the main activity of the day, special attention was devoted to the development of a space with exceptional acoustic qualities. To do this, we hired specialised subcontractors to supplement our team member’s expertise and knowledge, guaranteeing that the client received the highest possible acoustic standards and quality.

This award celebrates innovative and creative building interiors, with consideration given to space creation and planning, furnishings, finishes, aesthetic presentation and functionality. Consideration also given to space allocation, traffic flow, building services, lighting, fixtures, flooring, colours, furnishings and surface finishes.
More Details