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Showroom of the future

The majority of car purchases now happen online. We approached the competition to design this car showroom by asking the question: what would a physical showroom of the future look like? Could it do more than invite people to see and buy cars? What if it could become a hub for innovation, knowledge and spectacle?

  • Client: D'Ieteren
  • Location: Brussels, Belgium
  • Category: Commercial, Industrial
  • Program: Mobility hub & new commercial showroom concept
  • Status: Design settled
  • Building area: 22.000 m²
  • Collaborators: Studioninedots, Tractebel, Arter Landscape Architects
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space for public areas
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shared space
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focused on inclusivity

Putting the ‘show’ in showroom

To create a sustainable ecosystem of mobility (and commerce), we saw the showroom as a place that could inspire and service a wider group of people than just car buyers. We positioned the repairs workshop upstairs so it could liberate the ground floors’ full public potential.

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The ground floor’s open layout would allow the business to more prominently display vehicles, with each brand given its own dedicated zone within a modular grid based design - turning the floor into an ever changing route of discovery, inspiration and education for visitors.

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one size fits all
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all sites fit one
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extension of the street
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basic programme design
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programme pavilions
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programme squares

The pick-up experience

Picking up the keys to a new car is an emotional experience. We wanted to amplify that special feeling ten-fold with this space… We envisioned a physical ramp cutting through the centre of the entire building, with drivers collecting their keys and getting into their new vehicle at the top of the ramp and driving down through the building to exit the space. The ramp would create an exhilarating experience for the new owner and spectacle for those in the showroom (providing a talking point that would draw people to the hub).

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A hub for transport

Thinking about the location of the building on the boarder of Brussels we saw it as a gateway to the city. It would physically connect different transport options thanks to its location, allowing access to drivers and non-drivers alike.

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A tramline links the building to the river where boats can be boarded. There is a pedestrian and cycle pathway directly through a part of the building itself… These different mobility possibilities would create a space celebrating and connecting all modes of mobility.

A building to transform

Following our ethos of sustainability as adaptability, Mobility House was designed with the potential to transform over time. Whatever the future of mobility is, the underlying grid design means the building can easily be adapted to different uses. One day it could become a full office space. It could become housing. Or assuming a shift to driverless cars, it could become a driverless car hub. The grid maximises both the current functionality and future potentiality of the structure.

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Moving towards the future

Traditional showrooms as they exist now are due for a reimagining. Our future-proofed Mobility House concept was created to be mobile and adaptable by design. Its purposes extended beyond the purchase and pick-up of a car. It invited people to stay, explore and imagine what the future of mobility could be.

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Team
Nigel Jooren, Ferran Massip, Joost Robignon, Miguel Sousa, Emilie Gransard, Txaber Pico

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