Château Saint Jean in Molsheim, Alsace, is the current seat of Bugatti Automobiles SAS.
In the late 1920s, company founder Ettore Bugatti purchased the château, which had been built in 1857. The grounds bordered on the premises of the Bugatti car manufacturing plant, and Ettore Bugatti wanted the castle to represent the grandeur of his brand, it serving as impressive background for numerous photos of elegant Bugatti models. Yet the Bugatti family did not reside in the old château, even though Ettore’s parents, Carlo and Teresa Bugatti, did live in one of the former coach houses in their old age.
Around the turn of the millennium, the castle, which had been unoccupied since the temporary closedown of the Bugatti plant after World War II, was completely renovated and restructured in accordance with historic preservation guidelines. The two-story, mansard-roofed building was gutted and new ceilings and interior staircases were built. With its seven-section façade and tall windows, the castle appears to be very large; yet it only covers a base area of 22 by 11 meters. The architect Gunter Henn succeeded in adapting the castle to the requirements of a modern office building without compromising its architectural integrity.
The two coach houses flanking the main building and the old castle gate help preserve the romantic atmosphere of old. Located nearby are the orangery, which was left unchanged, and a small forest, which has been part of the grandiose setting ever since the halcyon days of Bugatti in the 1920s and 30s.
Then as now, the Chateau provided the perfect setting for the elegant Bugatti automobiles.
The Chateau Saint Jean today, fully modernized and renovated. In the background: one of the two former coach houses.