Atelier Hager

An interactive showroom in the heart of Paris

Hager France asked Studio Volpi to design the brand’s first showroom in the French capital, two hundred meters from the Arc de Triomphe. The project scope, since the very first moment, has been to narrate, through a 360° branding approach, the story, the products and the services of a company that today, with over sixty years of experience behind it, has over 12 thousand employees in 120 locations worldwide and an annual turnover of 2 billion.

A great location

The showroom is located inside the new Parisian offices of Hager France and occupies the ground floor of an XXth Century building used as an industrial manufacturing house where planes and cars body parts were built.

Space is shaped like a courtyard and is spread over four floors, with a large opening on the roof that illuminates the environment with natural light throughout the day. This space is designed to accommodate employees of different brands under the Hager Group brand and will also be used in the future to host conferences and events.

Getting to know the brand

Hager Group is a manufacturer of electrical installations in residential, commercial and industrial buildings based in Germany. The company has been family-run and owned ever since its foundation in 1955 and nowadays provides products and services ranging from energy distribution and cable management to intelligent building automation and security systems under the brand Hager.

Our task was to know the company background, products, values and services in order to start building up the structure, the scope and the shape of our showroom in Paris. In particular, we focused and collaborated with the French division of the company.

The first brand analysis helped us to figure out not only the brand proposition but also its main targets. The target definition indeed has been an essential activity because each future visitor would have expected a different experience and probably would have looked for different pieces of information from the brand. In order to anticipate their questions, we elaborated different user personas and we started defining the kind of narrative lines we wanted to build inside the space. 

Road to the concept: l’atelier & le témoin

Considering that this showroom needed to accomplish different functions, we decided that should have been versatile and easy to be reproduced in other countries and that’s also the reason because we wanted to have a wide range of possible “visitor’s paths”. In this way the visit can be arranged for different purposes, timings and occasions, always resulting in accurate and meaningful.

The definition of the Workshop is that of a laboratory, representing the authenticity of the work, the passion and the experience of the group. It should also be recalled that the building, previously a factory for industrial constructions till the mid-90s’, suited well to the idea of a workshop.

As soon as visitors enter the showroom, they are invited to the registration desk and asked for their profession. On this basis, their visit will be oriented towards the presentation of content that may be of direct interest to them. All the digital contents on their paths will be displayed thanks to the help a physical item, the témoin, which works as an activation tool when inserted into specific housing near to each point of interest.

Gathering contents to write a visit protocol

Working closely with Hager’s branding and communication departments, we have carried out massive cataloguing of all available multimedia content so that we could have a clear overview of what could already be used and what should be created for the occasion.

Through various workshops and meetings, we produced extensive documentation and used numerous tools for the collection of this material, so as to define the contents and interaction methods for each touchpoint in the showroom.

After collecting, cataloguing and distributing the old and new content inside the showroom, we wrote a protocol that would allow us to define the behaviour of the various stations. The multimedia contents in the Atelier can be in the background or active, depending on whether the user is interacting or not, and they are activated according to a precise order, changing accordingly to how the temoin is programmed before the visit begins.

First digital contents exploration 

The first graphic concepts helped to bring into focus some ideas born during the brainstorming phase and had the primary purpose of visualizing the function that certain areas would have within a visit path. Concepts such as the virtual guide, the 3D representation of the building and panelling for the narration of products and solutions were maintained and developed in the following phases.

However, the design attention was not only focused on the interior space of the building but also considered the shop window as a fundamental point of contact with the outside. “Talking to Paris” was one of the pivotal concepts of the project and the proposals developed wanted to try to relate passers-by to the world of Hager in an interactive and personalized way, just like the experience of being inside that space.

Defining the visual output 

Having clear in mind the purpose of each area, the next challenge was to produce meaningful content combining the materials already produced, the time available to create site-specific content and the planned visit routes. We prepared a few visuals which were meant to assess with the Hager corporate communication department how the executive contents would have looked like and eventually refine them for the Atelier’s actual opening.

Each area had its own development and depending on the subject to be told we decided to adopt a more concrete or more abstract communication. Moreover, many of the contents, since they are designed to be projected in sequence, aim to provide information in a granular way, respecting the interests of those who visit the Atelier but also the needs of those who will be presenting these topics.

Content refinement: a multi-media approach

During the last design phase, I mostly took care of supervising the final assets production, making sure that the final product was aligned with our initial scope and the company brand guidelines. We did multiple iterations on every touchpoint and we worked closely with the Hager corporate communication team to review and adjust our design solutions.

The creation of animated graphics, 3D models and video editing required the collaboration of all the expertise within the studio and made it possible to develop the concept without any compromise. To these, we must add other activities that have determined the production of digital content, from video shooting to copyright, as well as electronic and digital prototyping.

More is yet to come!

The project is still under development and this represents just the actual state of the art. As soon as the work will be complete, this page will be updated right away.

Project info

Year: 2018-2020
Project duration: 2 years
Client: Hager France
Project lead: Fabrizio Gagliardi
Project collaborators: Studio Volpi interaction design team
My role: Research & Analysis / UX / Concept development / Digital content production-supervision