Automotive Showroom and Leisure Centre
by Manuelle Gautrand Architecture


French architects Manuelle Gautrand Architecture have designed a car showroom and leisure centre for Cairo, Egypt.

The structure is based on a series of connecting circles and spherical cavities.

"The intersection between them creates all the circulations, atriums, and visual perspectives through the whole building," explain the architects.

Made of concrete, the building will be made up of identical modules which can be added together to form larger showrooms.

The building will incorporate showrooms for several car brands, cafés, a food court, a media park and two cinemas.

Exterior images: Manuelle Gautrand Architecture. Interior images: Arthur Couprie.

Manuelle Gautrand Architecture also designed the C42 showroom and brand experience for Citroën on the Champs-Élysée in Paris.

Here's some more information from the architects:


The program is a mixed-use one, with show rooms dedicated to several car brands, and also a lot of common facilities, around leisure: several cafés, a food court, a media park, two cinemas. The richness of this program is very interesting; with the potential of giving a vibrant place of attraction to the new district Allegria.

Our objective was to express in an innovative way this powerful program.

The guideline of the project is beginning with the car, and the memorable platforms that are used in all the trade fairs.

Most part of the time cars are exhibited like art-pieces on those turning platforms.

The entire project is imagined around this monumental way of showing cars.

The volume is conceived with the circle as a begin, and develops itself in a vast sculpture of circles and spheres, which are stuck together.

The intersection between them creates all the circulations, atriums, and visual perspectives through the whole building.

The interior space is totally flexible, with the possibility of moving the different showrooms, and also changing the place of cafés and restaurants.

All the modules are similar, each of them is approximately 80 sqm, and can be dedicated to one show room, or being added to some other to create a big show room of 2, 3 or 4 modules.

In the middle of the building there is a long atrium, which gives a lot of visual perspectives and helps the visitors to orientate themselves.

The idea is to build the project entirely in concrete, in pale and delicate colours, which could be a pearly white one.

The movement of the concrete sculpture makes sometimes, but regularly, small interior spaces, which are curved, to propose some privacy dedicated to VIP lounge, media lounge, small cafés, sales spaces...

In contrast with the pearly white concrete, those little rooms could be lined with precious materials and bright colours.

The volume has different heights, between 10 meters and 20 meters.

Those heights are displayed mainly on the extremities, allowing a generous exterior terrace on the middle of the roof.

This terrace can be dedicated to the food court, but we could also think about an exterior cinema.

The entrance is located on the long west façade, quite emphasized by a canopy.

All the brand signatures are in two horizontal lines of LED, which enlace the floors, giving a coloured movement behind the glass façade.

Client: GB AUTO
Surface: 12.000 m²
Location: Cairo - Egypt
Ongoing studies phase

Posted on Monday July 13th 2009 at 12:04 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Tristan

    ahhhhhh. architecture with a clear concept is so beautiful and refreshing.

  • john galax

    the sturcture is cool…

  • John

    This has many similarities to Toyo Ito’s Taichung Metropolitan Opera House.

  • roman kralya

    All great is simple.

  • A nice plastic cherry on top of another suburban nowhere.

  • tanya telford – T

    if im honest (apart from all other consideratins re: this project and the design for the building) i just wish I could see more local references in the design, and references to Egypt (historically so rich in design…) even if its then translated into something very modern,

  • one

    Car Show room in Middle East,… huuumm… it offers hardly reproducable poriject possibility.. wel done..

  • But I do feel the local references in the sitting areas? I would love a stroll through all these different shapes…

  • tom

    This project reminds me of Tama Art University Library by Toyo Ito and Exeter Library by Louis Kahn. The classical grid reminds me of Masuya by Akihisa Hirata.

    Anyways, nice work.

  • rodger

    this is a silly project at best. the geometry doesn’t fit the purpose and the structure is not making little sense structurally. this project is unnecessarily complex for the sake of some simplistic approach to finding an architectural solution.

  • yimyim

    ok, i will edit my original comment, perhaps the wording was “unprintable”: Actually I think comparing it to Toyo’s Opera House, while initially seemingly logical, is not being fair to Ito’s work, as this building is not on the same level.

  • bibo architect

    Manuelle Gautrand is one of the best young architects in the world.. Keep on!

  • kanye east

    i dare them to build it….

  • akib

    loves it!!

  • ann omare

    manuelle you are a your way of thinking.very simple and sophisticated

  • laputa

    Amazing, Cool, Fantastic

  • Shooreeck

    very interesting space inside… how people will feel it in reality?..