© Manuelle Gautrand
© Manuelle Gautrand


Citroën Showroom C42


Paris, France



Order Volume

1.400 m²


Manuelle Gautrand Architecture




Façade | Roof

Building Type


Citroën Showroom C42

Paris, France

Maximum effect within minimum space - The new C42 showroom for Citroën in Paris with KAPILUX from OKALUX

How can brand values such as innovative strength and creativity be translated to an empty plot about eleven metres wide? This was the question faced by the architect Manuelle Gau­trand when she received the order to design the new Citroën showroom to be located at number 42 on the premier boulevard in Paris, Avenue des Champs-Elysées. Her constructive response embodies above all the ideas of expressiveness and transparency.

The new Citroën showroom has been open to the public since 29 September 2007, and offers several surprises to its visitors. This is assured, firstly, by the attractive-looking showroom cars, because officially the showroom is a museum. Secondly, the building displays strikingly unusual constructions both on the outside and the inside. The overture is provided by an expressive glass front – by itself, this generous level of transparency catches the eye in a section of the avenue where the majority of the buildings has enclosed facades. However, it is not just the street front of the showroom that is glazed. Rather, the façade curves upwards like a glass cape forming a giant wave over the roof and down to the ground level of the rear façade. The supporting structure for this glass wave is formed by a self-supporting steel grid structure. Inside, the exhibition space occupies the whole height of the building with unobstructed visibility from the ground up and vice versa, providing a no less impressive backdrop. The exhibition area for the cars is provided by seven round exposed platforms six metres in diameter that are suspended from a round steel support.



The façade design facing the Champs-Elysées impresses above all with its three-dimensional structure. The starting point for this design was the request for the showroom to be unmistakeably recognisable as a Citroën building even without use of the word mark. This was the genesis of the idea for the brand logo of Citroën to be integrated into the glass façade.  The double arrowhead is prominently positioned directly above the entrance. It is formed by two closely overlapping pyramids, each composed of four triangular glass surfaces. The two arrowheads are clearly indicated by the red colouring of the glass panes. In total, 19 glass pyramids projecting from the surface by up to 70 cm have been integrated in the glass façade. The arrowhead is also repeated several times as an individual element along the central axis of the façade. 

These special formal features of the façade design require the use of special glass. KAPILUX insulating glass from OKALUX was used at the street frontage, and above all in the rear façade. A transparent capillary inlay in the cavity between the panes ensures a high level of light transmission and sunlight protection with partial visibility. At the same time, the evenly diffused and dazzle-free daylight improves illumination deep into the room without any light and dark zones. The individual red panes for the Citroën brand logo have also been implemented with KAPILUX T.

To achieve this effect, four coloured foil inlays have been integrated into the interior composite safety glass, and the combination of these four produces a special red tone. Not only KAPILUX but also OKATHERM sun protection insulating glass from OKALUX was used. This glass is characterised by its high level of light transmission, whilst at the same time reducing the overall amount of energy permeation. The individual triangular panes, some of which have extremely acute angles and edge lengths of up to four metres, are glued with synthetic rubber. 

Whilst the interior of the new showroom provides a perfect stage for presenting the cars, the design of the façade with its vivid effect provides a high level of recognition and, at the same time, extravagantly symbolises the brand values of the car maker Citroën.