Luxury Cars

The Rise of Car Gallery Homes

Forget the garage – the rise of car gallery homes is leading many car collectors to create better spaces for their prized machines.

Sam Burch Architecture
Sam Burch built this room for a Ferrari collector’s home. Image: Sam Burch Architect

“Architecture” is a newly coined term that describes the world of cars and architecture coming together in a flowing, cohesive design. Owners of these collector cars appreciate the fluidity, lines, optimization of space and spectacular design and therefore often seek out an architect or interior designer to integrate the vehicle into the home and frame it like a beautiful object.

No discerning car collector would allow his automotive treasures to sit in a damp and dark garage, nor should one park on the street for fear of being stolen or scratched. From rare Aston Martins to classic Porsches to highly prized Mercedes-Benz cars, these car collectors are now taking a new approach to admiring their extraordinary vehicles without having to go to a garage.

Your beloved cars have become celebrated objects in the heart of your penthouse, villa or bungalow. Etienne Borgos, one of the co-directors of Borgos Pieper Studio, who has designed homes for car collectors: “Customers choose to have their cars in their houses or apartments, even at the penthouse level, to celebrate the car as a design .” Object. It takes car ownership to the next level.”

Since the car is now integrated into an interior and no longer a garage, it offers a lot of luxury and extravagance. Notable projects include a modern house in Shenzhen designed by O-office Architect, whose centerpiece is the homeowner with a classic Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 Stradale. Over in the Netherlands, a homeowner wanted his 2008 Tesla Roadster to be the centerpiece of his living room, so he hired architecture firm Studio OXL to convert a carpentry workshop into a spacious loft while preserving the former factory entrance.

O office
O-Office Architects converted a textile factory in Shenzhen to accommodate a client’s Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 Stradale. Image: Steffen Jahn

For these customers, money is not an issue as setting up a small car gallery starts from just £2 million. Jonathan Clark runs an architectural firm called Jonathan Clark Architects, but has also founded another architectural firm that deals with “luxury spaces for cars.” Clark also owns a treasure trove of classic Porsches, a Ferrari and an Alfa Romeo, and this allows him to connect with his car-loving billionaire clients who enjoy sitting at home and admiring beautiful cars in a gallery-like space.

Such auto art galleries have become the playground for wealthy individuals who want homes and interiors centered around their expensive wheels, such as the $135 million 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe that would look downright beautiful next to your dining room or your Swimming pool is a swimming pool.

Garage Deluxe
Architect Jonathan Clark of Garage Deluxe designs spaces around cars, so collectors can now display them in a “gallery” or even next to their indoor pool. Image: Garage Deluxe.

Clark also revealed that he designed projects that he lost to another competing company. One was an “underground car cathedral” designed for a French billionaire with 25 cars. The structure was designed under a field next to his home in France. It was a double height space with a mezzanine so you could entertain friends or relax alone. The cavernous area would provide 3,000 square feet of space where cars could be driven down a ramp and into the basement.

Architects were also creative when clients expressed their wishes. Clark revealed how, alongside the client’s in-ground swimming pool, he also designed a car gallery so the owner could view his Ferrari F40 on his morning laps. “It’s a different way of presenting a car as the focal point of the interior,” jokes Clark. The gallery would also have washrooms and space for team members to care for the collection. “When you have 25 cars, you can’t just leave them alone; You need someone to oil the gears and turn them occasionally.”

Another architect, Sam Burch, revealed how he had to install ramps or even elevators in a three-story house. It would allow the car-loving homeowner to park their best machines in the living room or mezzanine whenever possible. The home also has a 15-car garage, allowing the owner to use the elevator and display their Porsches or BMWs on each floor.

Garage Deluxe
The cost of even a small car gallery starts at “from £2 million”. Image: Garage Deluxe.

Many people don’t realize that “architecture” is not a new concept. It even fascinated famous architects like Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright, who owned more than 80 cars during their lifetime.

Sam Burch architect
An impressive, gallery-like space for displaying cars at home. Image: Sam Burch Architect.

One luxury brand has even tapped into this market, designing exceptional, bespoke spaces to house their vehicles. Since 2019, Aston Martin has offered the “Automotive Galleries and Lairs” service to further “enhance the Aston Martin experience”.

The luxury car brand also launched a project with S3 Architecture, where the concept of “architecture” was realized in an 800 m² property in the heart of the New York countryside. The home’s main entrance features multiple windows leading through a gallery garage, allowing the owner to display his DB11, V12 Vanquish and Valkyrie-like artwork.

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