OMNES Education commissioned Kinnarps France for the development of Vellefaux 2, a former police headquarters armoury with architecture somewhat reminiscent of the Eiffel Tower's metal framework. The aim of the project was to provide optimal working conditions for students of the INSEEC School of Business and Economics. The challenge, now successfully completed, was to develop premises for tertiary and academic study inside the fairly unusual space in this building situated close to the Canal Saint-Martin. So we oversaw a major development project spanning a surface area of 3,000m2, containing 12 classrooms and 700 seats. The aim of this project was to create a new campus into which existing schools would move. At Kinnarps, ergonomics is part of an overall vision. We call this holistic ergonomics, meaning the complete experience one has of a space. This vision takes into account all ergonomic factors – physical, organisational and social.
As OMNES Education shares Kinnarps’ core values, we aimed to design spaces that would improve quality of life for both students and staff. This means giving them a feeling of well-being on the site and promoting both teamwork and independent working, with the option to be alone for better concentration.
This transformation signals a desire to rethink these spaces in order to provide a different academic experience to what can be found elsewhere. Here, the objective was to follow the trend towards co-working spaces: Kinnarps’ furniture will motivate students to spend more time on campus, making their student years an unforgettable time.
What made Kinnarps such a special partner that we really enjoyed working with was its ability to offer innovative furniture while prioritising ergonomics. In practice, this creates a “wow effect” for our students and staff, and transforms what we are used to doing. I also particularly appreciated our constructive relationship, whereby Kinnarps did its utmost to ensure our satisfaction by putting forward a large number of proposals in line with our requests and budget.
As there are high numbers of applications to elite business schools, the choice of new building naturally reflected a desire to meet a growing need for space and to respond to changes in working methods in higher education. Group work has an increasingly important role to play, which led OMNES Education to pay particular attention to collaborative working areas, infrastructure that can be adapted to the needs of individuals, and to simplifying the way in which people move around the site.
We mentioned unusual architecture, but in fact the Vellefaux 2 building calls to mind the foundations of a boat: arranged over two decks, the lower part is devoted to classrooms and dining areas, while the upper part offers a co-working space, with harmonious decoration provided by an orange tree. This space enables contact between all staff working on the premises, as well as students.
There are no lecture theatres on the site; instead, it has so-called modular rooms offering better ergonomics while responding to the desire of students to be together, restoring human contact lost during the pandemic. The holistic ergonomics favoured by Kinnarps, where every room counts towards creating a strong, functional whole, led OMNES Education to choose high-quality furniture, as well as ensure that students' psychological well-being is protected.
Kinnarps Color Studio enabled the customer to dare to blend original colours in matching tones. Colours can be used as tools that influence behaviour and wellbeing. The Studio offers attractive, carefully tested and proven materials to suit different types of environments. The different shades of the colours chosen mean that students can work in the best possible conditions, which contributes to their success.
The customer was extremely satisfied with the project as a whole, highlighting our attention to detail such as the acoustic panels which are an excellent finishing touch to the work spaces and provide an ideal acoustic environment. Indeed, excessive noise is considered to be harmful to productivity. Noise affects our concentration, stress levels and creativity.