Back in 2017(!) I was the design-lead on putting this pitch together, to propose a retail scheme for three brands under one roof at this ‘historic’ UK location (well, ‘historic’ in car dealership terms. The clients have been there for decades.) But the whole (free) pitch was covered under an NDA and I couldn’t share it until now. But as the company who I worked for on the pitch have just made it public… well, there we go.
The brief, as we defined it, was to ‘rejuvenate a brand’s presence at an iconic location, and introduce an opportunity to present a piece of theatre along a major commuter route’. The project was basically to propose a super-sized multi-franchise car dealership that was more like a department store (remember those?) than a garage, orientated around longer visits and drive-through service drop-of-and-collect for owners.
I undertook to survey the location and site context (and walking around the area in stealth mode, as the retailer was not aware the brand owners were intending any changes), from which I drew a SketchUp model of the vicinity. This helped me identify the important site lines (rather than listen to other peoples’ guesses; this part of West London was in the early throws of high-rise residential development which was rapidly altering the landscape) and so informed my design proposals for the form, format and orientation of the building.
Working closely with an interior designer, I directed the concept of the facetted architectural form on a platform with the overselling roof. Each brand, as a result of the facets, gained a shop window which took advantage of the topography and sweeping views towards the arterial road (one of the capital’s busiest.)
In addition the new frontages on the new podium level provided a series of stages, housing ‘hero’ displays, augmented with super-scale backdrops. These then doubled-up as billboards, which were intended to deploy the latest digital and lighting techniques and so creating an ever-changing performance of movement and light for passers-by. And drivers stuck in the usual tailbacks on this stretch of road.
The pitch and proposal was well received. But, as is usually the case with pitched work that a potential client has no investment in, has yet to get beyond the ‘that’s a nice idea’ stage. And hardly likely to progress now.
That notwithstanding, it was an amazing opportunity to devise a strategy from the landscape, upwards, and make a significant contribution to the a retail experience and its physical environment, as a graphic designer. Would quite like another shot.