The Renault 4L is one of the most successful models of the French manufacturer. For over 30 years, more than eight million units have been sold in over 100 countries. Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the iconic car, the company joined forces with interior designer Mathieu Lehanneur to transform the 4L into a mobile open-air hotel room.
The project titled SUITE N°4 merges the worlds of cars and architecture. Lehanneur says he imagined the vehicle as “a nomadic hotel suite, fully open to the outside and whose horizons can be continually renewed”. The designer replaced half the bodywork with large polycarbonate windows, creating a light and airy interior and preserving the distinctive silhouette of the 4L. The roof is covered with a series of transparent solar panels allowing natural light to flood in and at the same time charge the battery of the car. Yes, following the current green trends, SUITE N°4 was converted into a 100% electric vehicle.
The front of the car showcases the same iconic lights, lines, and silhouette as the classic model. However, the original grille was replaced with a sheet of polished aluminum with waves and ripples resembling other works of Mathieu Lehanneur. The architectural inspiration can also be found on the body of the car, which is coated with three layers of matte paint that looks like cement, “a material synonymous with modern architecture”.
Inside the car, Lehanneur decided to let in the ambiance and materials proper of housing, and combine the automobile technical requirements and the sophistication of the French art de vivre. The seats and dashboard are upholstered with yellow velvet fabric. In contrast, the space on the back is finished with a thick, ribbed chenille fabric and accessorized with two laps, for a robust look. Bolsters and pillows complete the boot, transformed into a moving room. The experience is finalized by a wooden bench that slides like a drawer and can be extracted to provide sheltered seating when the hatch is open. Like for 4L back in the day, all of the materials are “made in France” and supplied by Paris-based artisans.
Mathieu Lehanneur: “SUITE N°4 is a new mobility and travel experience. I wanted to merge the worlds of cars and architecture to create an open-air hotel room. Even better than the finest palatial suite, the car is exactly where you want it to be, whether that’s by the sea, in the middle of a field or driving around the city you’ve always dreamed of.”
PROJECT TITLE: SUITE N°4
DESIGN: Mathieu Lehanneur