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Old October 1st, 2007, 03:39 PM   #1
Minato ku
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C42 building, Paris

CitroŽnís Funky New Addition to Paris
New York Times, September 28, 2007, 6:17 pm


CitroŽn opened its new showroom, known simply as C42, to the worldís automotive press earlier this week.

CitroŽn opened its new showroom in Paris, known simply as C42, to the worldís automotive press earlier this week. Chatting in the futuristic display space, which is named for its location at number 42 on the Champs-…lysťes, Gilles Michel, executive vice president of CitroŽn, admitted that he loves how some people hate the companyís C-Cactus concept car. The C-Cactus was introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show this month.
ďThatís great! Thatís what we want,Ē he said, exuberantly.
If youíre waiting for a punchline, then you donít know CitroŽn. The company hopes to use its new spiritual home to showcase its return to cutting-edge technology and controversial design. C42 opens to the public this weekend
During the press conference, where journalists were offered a heady cocktail of Champagne and rich French sweets, Manuelle Gautrand, the architect of C42, colorfully referred to the previous CitroŽn-themed building as a ďhollow toothĒ on the Champs-…lysťes.
When it was built in 1927, the original CitroŽn dealership at this location was a marvel of style and elegance, with a large glass entrance perfectly framing the cars inside. But by the 1980s the original showroom was gone, replaced by a chain restaurant with a half-hearted section devoted to CitroŽn. It was shorter than the surrounding buildings, and was overshadowed by CitroŽnís long history of innovative marketing.
ďIt was a very long experience,Ē said Ms. Gautrand, referring to the construction project. City regulations meant that the Metro station directly in front of C42 could not be closed, and the sidewalk had to remain accessible to pedestrians at all times.
The glass latticework ó each section weighing four to six tons ó had to be trucked in at 1:00 a.m. Since heavy equipment and trucks had to be cleared from the busy street in time for the morning rush hour, that left only five hours to unload the glass each day. Ms. Gautrand smiled wearily when describing the slow progress.
ďTo build on the Champs-…lysťes is any architectís dream,Ē she said. She added that it was strange to begin work as people were leaving nightclubs, and to finish as the city awoke and early-risers went past on their morning jog.

The interior of the C42 is dominated by glass, an imposing red tower, and walls and staircases done in bright white. Imagine a mix of ďA Clockwork OrangeĒ and Eero Saarinenís terminal for T.W.A. at Kennedy airport. Stretching nearly 100 feet skyward, the central tower supports eight turntables, each with a car from CitroŽnís past, present or future.
The upper levels feature vehicles from CitroŽnís past: A Traction Avant, one of the first front-wheel drive cars, is on the top floor. A 2CV, a sort of French equivalent of the VW Beetle, is next, followed by the wonderfully chic DS21 sedan, a car that still looks modern a half-century after its introduction. Touch-screen computers allow visitors to learn more about each carís features and history.
The next three levels are devoted to CitroŽnís current lineup. Unlike the classics, the modern cars are unlocked and visitors are free to step inside. Arriving back where we started, the ground floor and basement house recent concept cars like the C-AirPlay and C-Mťtisse, a diesel hybrid that looks like a 21st century Gallic muscle car.
And it wouldnít be a CitroŽn showroom without a dose of the avant-garde: Every 15 minutes, a full-size model of a DS sedan transforms into what CitroŽn calls its Totem Mobile, which was introduced at the Paris Motor Show last year. Designed by the American artist Chico MacMurtrie, the Totem Mobile splits open and expands skyward, stretching 60 feet at full height.
You canít buy cars at C42, though a CitroŽn representative can inform interested visitors of the dealership closest to their home. Mr. Michel said that C42 lets the brand reach out to people in a warm and modern environment. If the cars inspire debate, then so much the better. ďWe do not want to mimic or replicate the past,Ē Mr. Michel said. ďItís always worse than the original.Ē
Will CitroŽn use C42 as a barometer for a possible re-entry into the United States market?
Mr. Michel chuckled and admitted that he had sensed the question was coming: ďWeíre not returning in the short term. But no car company can ignore it forever.Ē With the imaginative C42 showroom, CitroŽn is also becoming much harder to ignore.

http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2007...tion-to-paris/
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Old October 1st, 2007, 03:41 PM   #2
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Picture of the C42 building by JP.







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Old October 1st, 2007, 04:30 PM   #3
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damn...they steal my ideas...beautiful building btw
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Old October 2nd, 2007, 01:09 AM   #4
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AWESOME! Cool arquitecture...
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Old October 19th, 2007, 03:57 AM   #5
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Paris can do better than that generic design.
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Old November 5th, 2007, 04:19 AM   #6
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Generic design? Of course it's not the Guggenheim Bilbao but it's not that bland. Anyway, I really like the way the logo of the CitroŽn brand is incorporated in the overall design of the faÁade.

The building is quite well-thought for a show room. I like the fact it's totally glass windows on the street side. It makes it very welcoming. And the integration of the car podiums vertically gives a great feeling to the overall building. All spaces are thought vertically in this building.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 03:10 PM   #7
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Tottemo kirei dessu! I loved!
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Old November 6th, 2007, 10:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metropolitan View Post
Generic design? Of course it's not the Guggenheim Bilbao but it's not that bland. Anyway, I really like the way the logo of the CitroŽn brand is incorporated in the overall design of the faÁade.

The building is quite well-thought for a show room. I like the fact it's totally glass windows on the street side. It makes it very welcoming. And the integration of the car podiums vertically gives a great feeling to the overall building. All spaces are thought vertically in this building.
Paris being the city of amazing architecture, this is very bland compared to what is around it.
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