Dezeen Magazine

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