As an automotive partner, Auto-Graf AG has had a business on the north shore of Lake Zurich since 1948. Since 1976, it has been using premises on land directly adjacent to Seestrasse. It is located in the municipality of Meilen, in the Obermeilen district. From the busy commuter road that runs parallel to the lake shore, drivers get a direct view of the open and covered display areas of the car dealership.
The company’s buildings express “competence and proximity” in this ideal location. They present potential customers with the advantages of the BMW and Mini car marques, for which the garage has been an agent since 2002. The construction of the BMW building, and the conversion of the Mini pavilion next to it, will give the site a contemporary, customer-oriented style that corresponds to the cars’ brand reputations.
The BMW building replaces a filtration building on the northern edge of the site. The new building, which has an underground parking garage, consists of a showroom facing the Seestrasse and a three-storey structure to the rear. In terms of architectural expression, the BMW building ties in with the marque’s corporate branding, which required an architect team with a wealth of experience in this field. A white, cantilevered roof floats lightly above the glass-fronted showroom on all sides. Inside, round concrete pillars, also painted white, support not only the roof but also a gallery with a glass parapet. Below this gallery, the main entrance is located in the back part of the south-east façade. This leads the way round the edge of the showroom to reception and the adjoining consulting and lounge section, giving free access to the showroom area. The showroom is like a large display case. While the focus is on the cars on display, its generous room height and the ceiling downlights emphasize the stylish sportiness of the brand.
The three-storey structure is located behind the reception in the BMW building and is accessed via a stairwell and a wheelchair-accessible elevator. On the first floor, there is rentable office space in addition to the Auto-Graf AG administration rooms. In the set-back top storey there is a three-and-a-half-room apartment as well as an office / medical practice unit. Each has a separate roof terrace.
HRS Renovation AG supervised the construction of the BMW building as the general contractor with a full guarantee for cost, quality and schedule. The existing Mini pavilion, which previously housed both brands, was converted by HRS Renovation AG itself. This small building with its regular hexagonal layout and tent-like pyramid roof forms the centre of the entire complex, with visitor traffic leading around it before reaching the main entrance to the BMW building. Since its conversion, Auto-Graf AG has had the world’s first Mini showroom fitted out according to the latest concepts of the global BMW Group.
Summer and winter air-conditioning for a car dealership requires careful planning. Auto-Graf AG’s buildings are air-conditioned via a brine-to-water heat exchanger, which is supplied with heat from several geothermal probes. Free-cooling is used during the summer. The Mini pavilion is now being supplied via a pipeline system.