Amos and Amos is working on the architectural and interior design of Lotus car dealerships, in a programme set to roll out across 100 global locations over the next three years.
According to co-founder Jaki Amos, the consultancy won a pitch in March against five other design groups.
Asked to come up with ’a fresh approach to dealership design’, Amos says the consultancy looked to avoid a ’fully glazed elevation’, which is common in showroom design and means a dealer’s whole stock is on display from the roadside.
She says, ’We have come up with a closed box – a concrete shell with three glass windows – showing selected models.’ The cantilevered box sits next to a pool of water designed to reflect the cars’ shape and create a ’sense of drama’.
An interior concept has been developed from motor show stands created by the consultancy for Lotus’ relaunch at the Paris Motor Show in October, where an identity designed by McCann-Erickson Central was also unveiled (www.designweek.co.uk, 1 October).
Lotus is understood to be rethinking its entire dealer network as it prepares to reposition itself as a high-end supercar brand. Six new models have been designed byLotus’ new design director Donato Coco, who has only been in the job for 12 months.
The new dealerships will feature over-sized, polished 1.2×0.6m ceramic tiles with aluminium trim. Joinery has been produced in glass-reinforced plastic, chosen as a lightweight substitute to Corian in a bid to reflect the light weight of the cars on show, Amos says.
The white high-gloss GRP will be used for desks – Amos says a 4m-wide desk made with the material can be lifted with one hand – and display units.
Amos says the consultancy has tried to foster a comfortable atmosphere inside the showrooms, where framed ’heritage’ images selected from a photographic archive of more than a million negatives will be hung on the walls.
Lotus has also confirmed that the brand is planning to create a heritage centre, but could not reveal its status or if anyone has yet been appointed to work on the design. Amos and Amos says it is not involved in this.
Lotus confirms that it is buying back old Lotus models, so it is possible the heritage centre will follow precedents set by rivals Ferrari, Mercedes and Porsche, which have set up centres as historical showcases for the brand.
Amos and Amos will deliver full concepts by Christmas, and building of new dealerships is expected to start in the first quarter of 2011. Some will be new builds, while others will be adaptations.