From Google’s expansive Silicon Valley campus (where it’s bring-your-dog-to-work-day, everyday), to Lego’s Denmark Office with slides instead of lifts, companies are paying closer attention to how design and space influence their employees’ experience, and therefore, the company’s productivity.
The new L’Oréal HQ, Seine 62, with interiors designed by Maison Sarah Lavoine, follows suit – the workspace is focused on maximising happiness and wellbeing. Situated on the banks of La Seine in Levallois-Perret in Paris, the 48,000 sq m office space has welcomed 2,000 staff members. Lavoine hopes the HQ’s design will ‘bring a bit of joy into people’s lives’.
To cement the people-centred philosophy of Seine 62, Maison Sarah Lavoine studio adapted its expertise in residential design and hospitality for the office space, explicitly reframing design techniques intended for leisure, entertainment and comfort for a work environment. By teaming up with Mobilitis, L’Oréal’s architects, Maison Sarah Lavoine was able to specifically provide what the brand needs in terms of furniture and equipment, while still emphasising wellbeing (by, for example, consulting the Occupational Health & Safety ergonomist to help reduce back and posture problems for employees).
Seine 62 also includes four internal patios to increase natural light, a ground floor ‘Forum’ modelled after a hotel lobby, as well as a coffee and snack bar. To maximise dialogue and creativity, the design studio dismantled the ‘box-like’ office tradition by creating open office spaces that encourage ‘hot desking’ and building multipurpose rooms for senior management to collaborate and chat.
Perhaps most interestingly, Maison Sarah Lavoine has hued the interior of Seine 62 in baby blues and pinks, evoking a sense of nurture and nostalgia in the office building. The use of materials such as walnut, ceramic, and light velvet all combine to provide employees with gentleness, familiarity and warmth. In many ways, L’Oréal has sought to meld the space of work and home in their new HQ – perhaps for L’Oréal employers swiping into their office at 9am won’t feel all that different from finally twisting a key through their apartment door after a full day’s work.