ClientHouse of Cointreau
Surface area7320 sq ft / 680 m²
The House of Cointreau invites you to discover the exceptional creativity and savoir-faire of their famous liqueur. Designed by GSM Project, the brand-new narrative and participatory journey guides visitors through the heart of the Distillery by stimulating all the senses and the imagination.
Present in more than 350 cocktails, the Cointreau liquor is one of today's most famous spirit in the world. The iconic square bottle can be found behind the world's best bar counters — a pillar of the contemporary universe of mixology.
In 1849, brothers Édouard-Jean and Adolphe Cointreau established the House of Cointreau in Angers, France. In 1875, after several years of experimentation, Édouard Cointreau — the next generation — put the finishing touches on the French liqueur’s famous recipe, with its trademark crystalline colour and bittersweet orange flavour.
Since its inception, the historic Distillery opened its doors for public visits. Edouard Cointreau had a pioneering spirit and himself welcomed guests inside the House of Cointreau to discover his craft. He was definitely a visionary entrepreneur in the field of industrial tours; indeed, thinking of the visitor experience has been a part of the brand's DNA for more than a century now.
How to bring the passion behind Cointreau to life, and convey its messages to connoisseurs and amateurs alike? In order to reach the two audiences, our team came up with a timeless and sophisticated set design, and incorporated playlets and other tiny surprising theatrical moments into the experience to reinforce the brand's identity and narrative … all without being overly commercial.
The tour focuses on visitor engagement and sensory discovery through taste, highlighting the authenticity of the Distillery and the human dimension of the House of Cointreau, in order to create an emotional connection where all five senses are stimulated.
A modern and elegant mise en scène of 170 years of history
First, in an entrance hall dedicated to the explorations of Edouard Cointreau, the first creator of the famous liqueur, visitors are invited into the historic workshop to explore the imaginary genesis of the brand. Visitors are then welcomed into the distillery, with its aromas of orange liqueur and its 19 majestic copper alembic stills, where they can discover the distillation process specific to the House of Cointreau.
A new mezzanine, with a breathtaking view of the distillery, now offers a unique olfactory experience around orange peels, an essential and precious element of Edouard Cointreau's recipe. Visitors are introduced to the complexity, richness, and power of the liqueur's aromas.
"Chez les Cointreau", is a surprising cabinet of curiosities, where visitors discover the family history and its generations of entrepreneurs and visionaries from the Anjou region. Finally, visitors have the opportunity to dive into the many advertising campaigns of the brand and to (re)discover the contours of the famous square bottle signed by Edouard Cointreau.
“Both the international experience of GSM Project and its combined Museology and Theatrical expertise had convinced us.
The mandate was large: to translate more than 170 years of secular know-how, as well as the multiple personalities of the brand Cointreau, into a multi-sensory and experiential journey."
Heritage & Communication Director, House of Cointreau
An immersive room featuring the legendary Cointreau bottle tells the story behind three of the most popular cocktails made with orange liqueur — the sidecar, the margarita and the cosmopolitan — and how these three cocktails conquered the world. All is presented in a retro, festive, and elegant graphic universe, in reference to the Belle Époque and the French influence around the world during this period.
"There is nothing more inspiring to stage when there is a rich history and tremendous craft to tell."
Project Director, GSM Project
The universe of the Cointreau brand is well known to the public: its orange colour and its square bottle have become iconic. The design of each piece in the exhibition echoes the brand's flagship elements, whether in form, colours, imagery, or even the materials and ambiance chosen. Visitors are invited to immerse themselves in the Cointreau story throughout the visit.
A trained guide leads visitors through a fun and participatory experience in a theatrical way. Like the surprise boxes, each piece unveils a surprising je ne sais quoi that tells part of the great history of the Cointreau brand in a visual fashion.
With this new multisensory journey, the House of Cointreau aims to position itself as a leading destination in the tourism of spirit tasting (“spiritourism”) in the Loire Valley region, renowned for its castles and century-old vineyards. The Cointreau Distillery plays an important role in the local community and the Anjou region’s tourism industry with around 20,000 visitors per year.
"It is a journey through time and senses that awaits visitors. Feedback is unanimous: magnificent!”
Heritage & Communication Director, House of Cointreau
GSM Project was inspired by the universe of the Cointreau brand to design a playful and participatory experience. Visitors are invited to understand the pleasure linked to the product and the complexity of the distillery process of the famous French orange liqueur. In total, more than 680 square metres of space have been redesigned for the new multisensory experience at the Cointreau Distillery.