Creative technologie

James Forryan
Thursday 05 Nov 2009

Citroen flagship showroom at the Champs-Elysées Avenue

The automobile manufacturer Citroën wanted their new communication centre on the Champs-Elysées to be really ambitious, so the architects developed a concept that would magnify their cars in a building with strong symbolic presence, a kind of corporate totem composed of eight vehicles stacked on plateaux one on top of the other. The arrangement forms a gigantic upright display around which visitors move in an ascending / descending spiral movement via flights of stairs and landings. At the top, the sculptural erection opens superb views up and down the avenue, over the city and across the nearby gardens and river.

The cars are displayed on revolving circular platforms under a faceted mirror-ceiling that fragments and multiplies their lines and details. Besides enhancing the presence of the display models, the effect accentuates the vertical reality of space and creates an exhilarating sense of lightness.

Around this scenography, the skin is all in faceted glass and plays on the distinctive shape of the Citroën logo; the chevron. At street level on the Champs-Elysées, the façade begins as a simple flat curtain wall. The double chevron soon appears proliferating as it rises in free and inventive array right up to the summit. The glass front unfolds a gigantic origami, coloured by diaphanous white and red film that lets subdued clear light into the interior.

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