Rallye BMW had outgrown its existing cramped, outdated space and was in jeopardy of losing its BMW franchise. In addition to needing a larger and newer facility, Rallye wanted to create a destination for new and existing clients, as well as a place where staff would be proud to work. The result is a 92,000-sq.-ft. state-of-the-art facility worthy of its clients, its employees, and the BMW brand.
Once renovation was complete, Rallye also needed an innovative way to join two buildings—the showroom and an adjacent renovated parking garage used to house inventory. Local zoning restrictions for signage were also an obstacle. The solution: a woven metal fabric screen that does double duty by both linking the two buildings and providing a sophisticated alternative to traditional dealership signage.
The woven mesh panels were etched with a customized graphic of the dealership’s name, functioning as a sleek, high-tech billboard. Although nontraditional by design and method—it’s a big departure from the traditional neon lighting often seen at car dealerships—the sign is readable and eyecatching. By day, the etched areas stand out against the smooth, shiny surface of the metal fabric. At night, the etched areas appear in stark contrast to the reflective wire mesh with help from spot lighting. In addition, the woven mesh is environmentally friendly (manufactured from recycled stainless steel), fade-resistant, requires no special cleaning, and is durable.
“This project transforms signage to a lead role in the definition of a project and place. The scale and materiality of the text and panels are sympathetic with the image of the brand and its aesthetics and with the scale of ‘roadside architecture.’ This project’s ability to combine two disparate existing structures into one re-branded, unified whole represents an evolution of the concept, consistent with the increased sophistication of this integral part of American culture. Bold graphics and exquisite materials create a memorable sense of place.”
Ted Hammer (principal in charge), Kevin Stimpson, Kirk Stewart, Augusto Gomes, Basma Basilious, Imran Malik, Lindsley Humbert, Anthony Curiale, Joe Vassilatos, Scott Herrick, Tom Gasbarro, Lawrence Wah, Susan Kaplan
GKD-USA Inc. (materials and etching)