Team Vitality, a French eSports organization, has recently opened its new HKS-designed Paris headquarters. The goal of the team’s new physical space is to make the brand appealing to a wider audience beyond eSports fans.
The design combines technology, retail, fashion, food and beverage elements to create a space that more closely resembles a neighborhood hangout rather than a competitive gaming facility. The four-story facility is housed in a traditional Haussmannian building near Place de la République and includes private office space and technology-packed rooms for content production and projection.
The ground floor acts as a public storefront and uses large LED video boards that face the street to project content to passersby. A central, flexible event space is flanked by entrances through the Vitality shop and a cafe. The Vitality store has a boutique aesthetic while the cafe is designed with wood and warm finishes, forgoing typical eSports merch stands or food and beverage locations.
The venue, known as V.Hive, can accommodate everything from educational experiences, to live music, to product launches by the team’s sponsors and partners. It is flexible enough to change quickly throughout the day. The ground floor is tied together by a “digital ribbon,” a series of LED video boards that flows from one space to the next, that acts as a canvas from content from Team Vitality and its partners.
Audio and lighting can be varied from room to room and a central control room allows the team to orchestrate how digital content appears on the LED boards throughout the building.
“We wanted to create a physical venue for Team Vitality that is truly flexible for all their user groups: Vitality staff, players, fans and partners to gather publicly and privately in a space that would elevate the brand,” said Chi Bhatia, the Senior HKS Designer on the project in the firm’s London sports and entertainment studio, in a release. “This is one of the first true expressions of an eSports brand evolving into a lifestyle brand, via physical infrastructural investment for consumer-facing environments. We are still learning a lot in the space and wanted to challenge the notion of what truly is an ‘eSports venue.’”