Here at Baker, we are no strangers to car dealerships’ design and architectural necessities. We’ve worked with many brands – Honda and Subaru, to name a few. But recently, we had the pleasure of delving into the luxury side of the auto world – we got to be a part of designing a new Ferrari dealership in Minneapolis!
Ferrari only has about 40 dealerships in North America, which makes this project truly unique and extraordinary to be a part of. Read on to hear how we brought it to life and the cool things we got to work with along the way. Enjoy the many pictures we’ve added too!
The Vision – From car detailing to Ferrari
As with all our dealership projects, the first step was to sit with the client and hear their vision. The building was previously a well-known dealership with an area for car detailing. Part of the early steps of this project was transitioning it from this dealership with an emphasis on car detailing, and we went through a small remodel. Then when the client decided they wanted to acquire the Ferrari point here locally, we went through many different iterations of what that could look and feel like. They had some great ideas about what they wanted the space to look and feel like – modern yet luxurious, approachable yet aspirational. We took those concepts and ran with them, creating a design we knew would wow the Ferarri team and the customers.
This process involved some serious thinking and planning on behalf of our team. Getting Ferrari’s branded look and feel into this previously branded building needed to be meticulous and on point.
On Branding and Problem Solving
To create a high-end approachable space we played with many different materials to achieve the desired look and feel – sleek metal, glass, and stone elements to create a high-end and approachable space. We were fortunate to stretch our creative legs on this project, especially our problem-solving abilities – Kristy’s favorite part! These elements all played a role in getting the right feel for Ferrari into this small space. Learning how to take the Ferrari brand and create and craft it into a building we designed was rewarding. Being true to the brand, how they want to see it executed, and how the customers should experience it and then balancing that with their needs, wants, and desires was a fun challenge to solve.
And, of course, part of that included incorporating the signature Ferrari Red into the design! We used it as an accent color throughout the dealership, from flooring elements to the furniture.
Lighting, Barrisol Elements & Simple Elegance
Now let’s talk lighting. All of the lighting elements needed to be put in place adhering to requirements, and it was very challenging to get them all to fit within the building in a way that was true to the brand. See that glowing element in the ceiling? We created what is known in the design world as a Barrisol element; the stretched white fabric you see on the top (fun fact!). It is an element of backlighting that gives it more of that glowing look. Puzzle piecing that in there was challenging, but we’re pretty proud of how it turned out.
As for the feature car area, we had to strategically plan how to detail it to get that base element in there and make it look crisp and refined. Here’s another fun fact: when you look at a building, and the details seem very simple, crisp, clean, and straightforward, did you know that it takes more thought and precision than to do something grandiose and extravagant? Because you have to figure out construction tolerances of light to fractions of inches, and you may not even be sure if certain aspects of it will work in the end. This was one of our biggest hurdles on this project because of the way that the interior finishes had to come together and assemble. That’s also what we’re most proud of, though: the ability of our team at Baker Minneapolis to execute all of those details successfully.
The role of good design in driving customer satisfaction and sales at car dealerships
If our car dealership projects have taught us anything, emotional connections with customers can be made through design, a crucial aspect of any dealership’s success story. The right ambiance will make people feel at home when purchasing their next vehicle, making them long-term loyal buyers! Whether designing for a more familiar brand like Honda or a luxury brand like Ferarri, we always keep this in mind when creating our client’s visions come together.
We think the pictures speak for themselves. The result is a truly stunning space that perfectly embodies all things Ferrari. It’s been a success and honor to be at the forefront of welcoming Ferrari to the Twin Cities. We’re proud of this project and can’t wait to see the future of Baker Associates and other car dealerships here in our home of Minneapolis!
Do you have a dealership design project coming up? Or maybe an idea for one you’d like to discuss? We’d love to chat with you about it! Contact us today to get started.
Have any questions about this project or how we did it? Let us know in the comments below! We love hearing from our readers. Until next time, architectural dreamers!