Citroen – C42
Citroen’s iconic flagship showroom at no42 Avenue des Champs-Elysées is known as C42.
The architectural assemblage of red and white steel and glass replaces the original building where André Citroën exhibited his first car in 1919.
The car manufacturer let the building to a chain of restaurants until 2004 and then fully redeveloped it.
He commissioned the architect Manuelle Gautrand with the creation of this gigantic project.
This extreme makeover was part of an extensive programme of modernisation of the car manufacturer’s image.
But most of all, it was also a way to reinforce the group’s position in a futuristic dynamic.
The architectural design was bold in order to reinvent the image of the product and embody the spirit of innovation of the brand.
C42, an iconic building
The narrow facade (25m) is therefore a gigantic display window where the glass panels recreate the car manufacturer’s logo, the emblematic double chevron.
The interior is equally innovative.
An elevator links the floors that are laid out on seven superimposed rotating platforms and form an up spiral.
A permanent exhibition relates the manufacturer’s history.
This goes from the original models to the emblematic DS and the latest models.
The showroom includes also an aggressive racing prototype to remind the visitors of the sportive character and creative technology of the brand.
However, this contemporary architecture was not to everyone’s taste at the time of its creation.
But the controversy it triggered had the desired effect… everyone was talking about Citroen!
The inauguration of the showroom took place in 2007; 10 years later the C2 “belongs” to the Avenue des Champs-Elysées.
The former Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani bought the historic showroom for 77-million euros, however Citroen will continue to lease the building.
Directions: 8th district – no42 Avenue des Champs-Elysées
Metro: Franklin D. Roosevelt on Line 1
Coordinates: Lat 48.870232 – long 2.307790