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Driven to new heights

29 Jul, 2019

When the new BMW Takapuna showroom opens later this year, it will not only set a new standard for how vehicle's are sold in New Zealand, but will also set up the dealership for the cars of the future.

Designed by Ignite Architects, the multi-level, state-of-the-art building sits on a high profile site, with a large street frontage at a busy intersection on one side, and motorway frontage on the other.

But while the site's high visibility was key to the decision for BMW to move there, it also presented some initial challenges to development.

Major initial earthworks of the sloping site involved 25,000m³ of excavation to form a suitable building platform.

And to maintain stability of the motorway on the upper boundary, 150 piles were driven to a maximum depth of about 10m, to create the retaining wall running full length along the back of the site.

Ignite's Jeremy Whelan, project director, and Scott Inverarity, project lead, worked closely with BMW’s brand architects to ensure the project was designed to meet strict corporate identity requirements.


The design comprises a showroom at road level; mezzanine offices and carparking located above on level two; a retail zone and workshop on level three; and a 'hero' car display for four vehicles on the top level, which is viewable from the motorway,

With a framework of 85,000kg of steel, the building features a crisp white outer shell of wall and ceiling slabs, layered vertically and horizontally to create striking overhangs.

A fully glazed facade complements this to provide lightness and transparency, and showcasing the BMW cars within.

The core of the showroom is the Driving Gallery, allowing cars to be displayed in two staggered rows as if on a road. Together with outside display areas, the showroom has the capacity to showcase 150+ vehicles.

Solar panels power the building's electric vehicle charging stations, while 100,000l of rainwater storage plus recycling processes have been installed for car washing.

Geoff Light, dealer principal, Continental Cars BMW, says the success and momentum in the new car market for the past four to five years has been incredible, with the biggest roll-out of new BMW product ever seen.

"We're offering our clients a new way to experience shopping for a vehicle in a modern luxury environment through ground-breaking innovation,” says Light.

Ignite's Jeremy Whelan says the new dealership is on the cutting edge of innovation and design, and offers a sense of how the BMW brand is looking into the future.