Category Archives: AG Overview – Neutral

Design Overview / Neutral

Design Overview

Audi Neutral Facilities provide an exclusive customer experience for both Audi Sales and Service. All finishes, lighting, and furniture in a Neutral Facility follow Audi’s Advanced Showroom Concept (ASC) program.* 

 

All customer touch-points must be exclusive to the Audi franchise including the Showroom, Sales Area, Service Reception, and all line-level management positions including the Sales Manager, Service Manager, and Parts Manager.

 

Audi Neutral Facilities are defined by four major guideline areas: Site Design, Primary Sigange, Exterior Architecture, and Interior Architecture. The combination of these architectural features create the Audi Neutral Facility environment

*These Neutral guidelines do not apply to back-of-house spaces or staff-only areas.

Site

 

Audi dealerships are composed of three main elements, which can be arranged in different combinations on any given site. These are the Showroom, the Service Drive, and the Service Workshop.

The overall goal of an ideal site layout is to create a visual connection between the Showroom and the main street. Therefore, the building should be situated as close as possible to the street and no cars should be parked or displayed in front of the street-facing facade of the Showroom. Any vegetation along this facade should be monochromatic and low, while required site lighting should be addressed with bollards. These strategies allow for maximum visibility of the Showroom and showroom vehicles. With its prominent positioning the dealership building, itself, serves as a large street sign thanks to its distinctive design

Overall Layout
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Overall Layout
Prototypical Neutral Facility site plan.

Site Materials
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Site Materials

The basic guideline for the surface of the site is to define areas of homogeneous materiality. A sleek, minimalist design character, combined with simple graphic markings on the pavement, reinforces the Audi brand. The pedestrian areas are delineated from the vehicle drive with clearly de ned markings on the pavement.

Site Lighting
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Site Lighting

Vertical light columns should be used at approximately 60’-0” intervals around the site, but preferably not in front of or near the Showroom curtain wall. Lighting around the Showroom and Vehicle Display is best achieved with light bollards.

Note that particular attention must be paid to accommodate local ordinances; in particular, those governing light pollution and light trespass.

Landscape
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Landscape

Trees and green space should consist of muted green tones, without colorful flowers. Vegetation around the building should also be low in order to maximize visibility of the Showroom display vehicles and circulation. Lawn surfaces and low ground cover surrounding the Showroom also reduces glare as well as frequency of window washing by absorbing driving rain at the glass perimeter. At the perimeter of the building foundation, gravel or monochromatic vegetation may be used.

Where trees are required by municipal ordinance, the building layout and tree placement should take into consideration where views into the Showroom are maximized.

Exterior Architecture

 

Seen from the outside, the three aforementioned elements of the building consist of three distinct volumes: the Showroom, the Service Drive, and the Service Workshop.

Massing
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Massing

The use of rectilinear and simple geometry gives a strong clarity to the overall building form. The three building volumes should be articulated as complete masses (typically four-sided). Therefore, it is often necessary to extend parapets with the appropriate cladding around the entire building perimeter.

Building Materials
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Building Materials

The exterior finish is based on a dry-fit, flat, aluminum panel system, which is used for cladding the Showroom and the Service Drive.

The vehicle showroom faces the street and is highly visible to passing trafic due to the wide curtain wall glazing. The total vertical dimension of the curtain wall framing matches the showroom ceiling height.

NOTE: Keep vehicle loading doors to the sides of the showroom, keeping the front facade as minimal as possible.

Building Materials cont.
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Building Materials cont.

The curtain wall is generally divided into vertical halves. The centerline of the single horizontal mullion typically occurs at 10’-0” elevation, the upper half height may vary.

Capped mullions (with a typical 2-1/2” face dimension) occur at the joint lines of the ACM cladding with butt-glazed joints between them. This creates a rhythm of alternating capped and uncapped joints across the 5’-0” grid of the facade. Structural columns should be located behind the center line of the capped mullions.

Shading
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Shading

Window shading can be incorporated in the interior or exterior. For exterior applications, provide exterior louvers. Interior applications should utilize a shade pocket and the standard shading system. For interior shading see Finish Specifications, W-4.

Entry Vestibule
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Entry Vestibule

The entry vestibule is the legible point of entry into the showroom. It is to be positioned adjacent to the primary customer parking area on the site and located on the same side of the building as the Service Drive entry. It is also clad in ACM panels, both on the exterior and interior portions of the vestibule element.

Entry Vestibule cont.
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Entry Vestibule cont.

The vestibule volume is to be deep enough to create passage between pairs of doors and function as an energy-saving air-lock. It should be treated as an independent volume with its own structure. The building structure should be independent (i.e. structural columns supporting the roof should not pierce the vestibule volume). The doors set in the vestibule are often wide enough to accommodate display vehicle loading. Another set of loading doors within the curtain wall can be provided on the opposite side of the showroom. Loading doors set into the front of the building are non-standard.

Vestibule Types
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Vestibule Types

Entry vestibules may either be freestanding or attached. The freestanding is the preferred method, but depending on design constraints, it can be anchored to the edge of the curtain wall.

Interior Architecture

 

The same three building volumes recognized from the exterior are also perceived in the inside of the dealership. Three different ceiling heights correspond to distinct programmatic areas, namely the Showroom, the Sales and Lounge Areas, and the Service Drive. The use of glass partitions for all offices within the sales area allows customers and employees a direct view of the Showroom from the Service Drive, and vice versa. The simple architectural language highlights Audi’s vehicles on display and creates the re ned brand experience.

Program Areas and Ceiling Heights
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Program Areas and Ceiling Heights

Building cross section diagram

Program Areas
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Program Areas

Typical Neutral Architecture Facility programmatic layout. Showroom & Sales, Service Drive, and Service Workshop volumes are distinctly articulated.

Showroom Layout

 

Each vehicle is required to have a fixed and unobstructed viewing area, through which customers can pass, open vehicle doors, etc. This view area measures 13’ x 21’ in size, or 275 square feet. Depending on the building type, vehicles should be positioned parallel to the curved showroom wall or to the principal curtain wall facade and staggered from each other to maximize circulation and visibility. In addition, the vehicles should face toward the main entry or vestibule.

Showroom Layout
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Showroom Layout

Vehicles are arranged parallel to the front of the showroom. They are staggered for maximum visibility.

Showroom Layout
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Showroom Layout

The communication platform (i.e. reception desk) may project into the showroom floor.

Dual Brand Facilities

 

Brand separation is critical; when the Audi dealership is attached or adjacent to other brands, the Audi customer experience should have clear separation from those other brands. This is achieved in part by ensuring that the Audi program spaces are exclusive and solely dedicated to the Audi brand experience. Some functional spaces, however, can be shared between brands; those should be designed with a neutral material palette. 

 

The following functional spaces may be shared between Audi and another brand: Service Workshop, Parts Storage, Conference/ Training Room, F&I O ce(s), Restrooms, Retail Counter. Other fixed operations not exposed to customer contact, may be shared with other brands.

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Diagram
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Diagram of Exclusive and Shared Spaces in a Dual Brand Facility

Within a multi-brand Audi Facility, customers should not be presented with any direct sight lines to the adjacent brand. The goal is to maintain customers’ visual focus within the Audi dealership and this applies in all customer zones.

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