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The Rise of Automotive Gallery Properties

The Rise of Automotive Gallery Properties

Forget the garage — the rise of car gallery homes leads many car collectors to create better spaces for their prized machines.

Sam Burch built this space for a Ferrari collector’s home. Image: Sam Burch Architect

“Carchitecture” is a newly coined phrase that describes the world of cars and architecture coming together in a fluid, cohesive design. Celebrating the adoration of fluidity, lines and optimisation of space and spectacular design, owners of these collectable cars often seek an architect or interior designer to integrate the vehicle into the home and frame it like a beautiful object.

No discerning car collector would allow his or her automobile treasures to sit in some dank and dark garage, nor can you park in the street for fear of being stolen or scratched. From rare Aston Martins, classic Porsches and highly-prized Mercedes-Benz cars, these car collectors are now taking a new approach to admiring their exceptional vehicles without going into a garage.

Their beloved cars have become celebrated objects in the heart of their penthouse, mansions, or bungalows. Etienne Borgos, one of the co-directors of Borgos Pieper Studio who has designed homes for car collectors, “Clients are choosing to have their cars in their homes or apartments, even at the penthouse level, as a celebration of the car as a design object. It’s taking car ownership to the next level.”

Now integrated into an interior setting rather than a garage, the car gives rise to all the spoils and extravagances. Some notable projects include a modern Shenzhen home designed by O-office Architect where the homeowner has a classic Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 Stradale as the centrepiece. Over in the Netherlands, a homeowner wanted his 2008 Tesla Roadster as the piece de resistance in the living room, so he got architectural firm Studio OXL to transform a carpenter’s workshop into a spacious loft while preserving the former entryway of the factory.

O-Office
O-Office Architects converted a textile factory in Shenzhen to house a client’s Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 Stradale. Image:Steffen Jahn

For these clients, money is no concern as setting up a small car gallery starts from £ 2 million. Jonathan Clark runs an architectural practice called Jonathan Clark Architects but has also set up another architectural practice that delves into “luxury spaces for cars”. Clark also owns a trove of classic Porsches, a Ferrari and an Alfa Romeo, and it allows him to connect with his car-adoring billionaire customers who enjoy sitting at home to appreciate beautiful cars in a gallery-like space.

Such car art galleries have become the playground for wealthy individuals who desire houses and interior spaces built around their expensive wheels, such as the USD 135 million 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe, which sits decidedly beautifully next to your dining room or indoor swimming pool.

Garage Deluxe
Architect Jonathan Clark at Garage Deluxe designs spaces built around cars, so now collectors can display them in a ‘gallery’ or even alongside their indoor pool. Image: Garage Deluxe.

Clark also revealed that he has designed projects he lost out to another rival firm. One was an “underground car cathedral” designed for a French billionaire with 25 cars. The structure was designed under a field next door to his house in France. It was a double-height space with a mezzanine, so you could entertain friends or chill out alone. The cavernous area would hold 3,000 sqm of space where the cars could be driven down a ramp and circle into the basement.

Architects have also been creative when clients come with their requests. Clark revealed how he also designed a car gallery next to the client’s underground swimming pool so the owner can peer at his Ferrari F40 while doing his morning laps. “It’s a different way of presenting a car as a focal point in an interior setting,” quips Clark. On the side, the gallery would have wash bays and space for team workers to maintain the collection. “When you have 25 cars, you can’t just leave them alone; you need someone to oil the gears and give them a spin occasionally.”

Another architect, Sam Burch, revealed how he had to incorporate ramps or even elevators into a three-storey home. It would allow the car enthusiast homeowner to park their finest machines in the living room or mezzanine whenever possible. The house also has a garage for 15 vehicles, so the owner can use the elevator and display his Porsches or BMWs on any floor.

See Also

Garage Deluxe
The cost of even a small car gallery starts ‘from £2m up’. Image: Garage Deluxe.

Unbeknownst to many people, “Carchitecture” isn’t a new concept. It even intrigued famous architects such as Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright, who owned more than 80 cars during their lifetime.

Sam Burch Architect
A striking gallery-like space for cars to be displayed at home. Image: Sam Burch Architect.

One luxury marque has even tapped into this market — designing exceptional, customised spaces for storing their vehicles. Since 2019, Aston Martin has been offering the “Automotive Galleries and Lairs” service to take “the Aston Martin experience” even further.

The luxury automobile brand also embarked on a project with S3 Architecture where the concept of “architecture” was materialised as an 800sqm property in the heart of New York countryside. The house’s main entrance offers multiple windows through a gallery garage, allowing the owner to display their DB11, V12 Vanquish and Valkyrie-like works of art.

For more on luxury automotive reads, click here.

Source: Luxuo

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