The BMW facility in Doncaster, Melbourne, has undergone a $20 million transformation, tripling in size to 15,000sqm of new showrooms, service workshops and staff facilities.

The redevelopment comprised the complete redesign of the existing sales and service complex across three buildings. WMK Architecture, alongside builders Chick Constructions, took about seven years of design and construction to complete the transformation.

“BMW’s philosophy that any new product released, needs to perform better and to be more efficient than its predecessor served as inspiration,” says Ingo Reisch, client and managing director of BMW Doncaster.

As a result, the transformation led to the creation of larger working areas and more sustainable practices. This includes the demolishment and building of the front and rear of the former building, while the middle section was retained and re-worked.

The new vehicle showroom now features a lofty two-storey void with a full height double-glazed façade. This facade, direct fixed to steel columns, forms the cornerstone of the development.

Power Valley glass solar panels, each weighing approximately 800kg, were vertically inserted into the front façade parapet, signalling the future possibility of recharging electric cars using the power generated from the sun. The glass is toughened, heat soaked, and has CED coating applied to the back of the first layer.

The central reception area and adjoining customer lounge and café provide the fulcrum point in the showroom space, where customers are first met and greeted by the staff.

Supplementing the main showroom space is the youthful ‘black on black’ MINI Showroom and the BMW Motorrod motorcycle showroom, which has raw concrete flooring and natural timber fittings.

The showrooms were furthermore supported by a new workshop facility, which has a stepped roof design with inserted windows allowing the ingress of natural light while meeting council requirements for set-back, aesthetics and acoustics. A water harvesting system was installed in this space, reducing the fresh water usage per car from approximately 250 litres to 30 litres.

Other sustainable design initiatives incorporated into the new Doncaster BMW facilities includes low energy LED lighting, high performance low energy air conditioning and extra added roof and wall insulation.

Staff amenities and facilities were also a key part of the transformation. According to WMK Architecture, these areas were designed to attract, maintain and motivate the staff, as well as enhance their work performance.

Currently, administration staff can enjoy elevated views to the CBD, while the fully glazed managing director’s office is dramatically cantilevered out overlooking the new BMW showroom.

“There’s a whole consistency of the brand and message into the back end space that helps to edify the team and communicate that they are part of the BMW,” says Managing Director of WMK Architecture, Greg Barnett, who adds that the architecture of the office spaces is symbolic of the transparency of business operations.

According to Reisch, the redevelopment has increased the team’s ability to service more cars, increasing the level of service and amenities provided to customers.

“The building is now a conduit for us to give better service – there’s pressure felt by staff to match the higher expectations that customers have in the new spaces. The outcome is a better functioning facility, one that’s very aesthetically pleasing and is more efficient.”