Angular Lexus showroom wins architecture award

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A brave decision to build a one-car showroom on a high-profile site has paid off for GWD Lexus of Queenstown and Anna-Marie Chin Architects.

The sharp angled showroom featuring just one Lexus vehicle won the Commercial building category at the recent New Zealand Institute of Architects Southern Awards.

Arrowtown-based Anna-Marie Chin Architects responded to the unique brief from GWD Lexus of Queenstown for a single-car showroom by creating a sharp-edged building that mimics the jagged rocky peaks of The Remarkables in the background.

Like a jeweller’s display case, the glass and metal structure focuses attention on the vehicle inside. The Lexus is easily seen from vehicles travelling around an adjacent roundabout.

Anna-Marie Chin said GWD Lexus of Queenstown had set a great challenge for her practice, and they had responded by treating the building as a marketing tool as well as a functional showroom. She said it has strong Lexus branding but with minimal signage.

“We created a building that could respond to the vehicle inside and reflect the surrounding environment with its harsh landscape of flinty greys, sharp lines, and ice,” she says.

The building materials also reflect the styling of the new Lexus range, with its highly textured surface similar to the mesh of the Lexus grill.

Inside, there is room for a Lexus and a small lounge where customers can chat in private with a Lexus sales representative.

GWD Lexus of Queenstown chief executive Glen Rutherford says the company wanted to do something extraordinary, and provide clients with a visually pleasing experience that reflected the start of the customer journey with Lexus.