Date 2021/09/14 15:19:44 by ARCA UNLIMITED ARCHITECTS


ARCA Unlimited Architects are well-versed in the design of commercial and passenger vehicle dealerships as we have been involved in over 100 automotive dealership design projects. In 2018 ARCA Unlimited Architects was appointed by M&F Giuricich Developments to design the new BMW East Rand facility which houses BMW, BMW AUC, MINI, and Motorrad in one facility. The Client Brief The brief was to design a new home for the BMW East Rand dealership which needed to holistically contain the various brands, BMW, BMW AUC, MINI, and Motorrad in one facility. The current facility, which they had occupied for many years, had become too small to fully apply their latest global Corporate Identity. The client acquired land together with M&F Giuricich Developments- on which a Leroy Merlin hardware store, an SHF furniture store, and Jonssons Workwear Retail strip were planned. The client however wanted the BMW showroom to enjoy the most attention and street frontage but did not want the other brands to seem neglected. All brand showrooms represented in this one building needed to be perceived on their own, and with their own identity, all the while still making sense in one building. Another important factor was implementing green building principles in order to achieve the global criteria to which they as a dealer needed to adhere to. The Project The BMW site is located on a prominent road in the East Rand where access to the site is shared with adjacent retail development. The position of the retail building is pushed to the back of the site with the parking component in front of the development. The intention was to create a distinction between the retail development and our dealership and thus we decided to position the building as close to the busy North Rand Road as possible. The building was also placed on a platform to create a view into the showroom and past any parked cars. This enabled the public to view the premium vehicles in the showroom from the busy road. The success of the motor showroom lies in the meticulous planning of the various intertwined functions and proportions that fit into a perfect puzzle. Each function's position is integral to the dealer’s daily business operations, and if this puzzle works well, the business can work efficiently to provide a premium service to a premium brand client. The parts retail and service advisors’ position was placed in the heart of the building due to car sales being driven by drawing in service clients into the showroom. Thus, no matter in which direction the user was headed – they would be able to see enticing showroom vehicles anywhere and everywhere. The BMW architectural principles embody a few simple design guidelines, one of which is to create the main showroom volume by use of a series of white planes in orthogonal directions and seemingly floating. These principles ensure a design that is simple, elegant and showcases the vehicles in the showroom. The vehicles are stacked in a road formation parallel to the main road as if the user is walking on a sidewalk next to the road when visiting the showroom. The play on scale and volume in the showroom area also places emphasis on this road-like vehicle formation. The building is designed to create seamless symbiotic relationships between the brands whilst sharing services and other functions. The Motorrad (motorcycle) client being different from the typical vehicle client meant that the workshop component is never a back of house function and was designed as such. Motorcycles are driven into the building, captured on the system, and driven past the motorcycle show area and into the workshop which forms part of the showroom. The showroom transforms on weekends for biker’s meets by means of opening the glazed partition to reveal the pergola extending into the outdoors creating a seamless transition into a casual socializing space for bikers. This project embodies the perfect harmony between the different aspects of an automotive design which includes the user/client, the product, and the process. Looking back on the construction process of BMW Eastrand. The most rewarding stage of a project is during construction. We love seeing what we’ve designed materialise and progress into the space we imagined from the beginning of the project. Architect: ARCA Unlimited Architects Structural & Civil Engineer: L&S Consulting Mechanical & Fire Engineer: INGPLAN Electrical Engineer: Monty Miller Associates Contractor: Edilcon Construction Developer: M&F Giuricich Photographer: Chris Jansen Photography EVO Media Productions Videographer: Aerial DPM