The Albion site was purchased and occupied by the client in early 1996. It is a west facing site situated amidst a mix of small, unrelated service trades and commercial businesses. At the time of purchase, Volvo was sold and serviced on-site in a cluster of five original buildings which were linked to form an impractical and unimpressive dealership.
Primarily, the design brief called for a landmark building for the sale and service of a prestige European marque. AS with all vehicle sales facilities, maximum vehicle display and showroom exposure were the major master planning constraints. Limited retention and incorporation into the design of a section of the original building allowed the development to maintain its zero setback onto the Beaumont Street alignment. In addition, the existing workshop building was retained and interfaced into the new complex.
The brief called for transparency of internal structure and a relaxed atmosphere. Transparency and openness was achieved using frame-less glazing and by eliminating doors where practicable. Inclusion of a raised customer lounge with cafe-style facilities, business center, and child play area maximizes the degree of customer comfort, while providing a vantage point to view the showroom. The inclusion of a water feature provides both a soothing, white noise backdrop, and superior vehicle display.
Maximum building flexibility was required enabling any future marque change. This was tested during construction with the decision to change the dealership from Volvo to Audi.
Architect: Bradley Williamson (Director)
Award: Regional Commendation