From the first moment the two-story concrete, metal and glass tower comes into view, it’s apparent that Nalley Lexus Galleria is not your ordinary car dealership. It’s dramatic, luxurious, and a bit theatrical both inside and out. And that’s exactly what the Nalley Automotive Group of Atlanta and its parent company, Asbury Automotive Group of New York wanted when they commissioned Craig James of Praxis3 Architecture, Planning and Design, Altanta, GA, to create a new building for their Smyrna, GA dealership. New York design and branding consultant Kenneth Walker consulted with James on the project.
“We wanted to design a building that would complement and highlight the nature of the site – a busy corner nestled in a cut-away hillside,” said James. “The contrast that the vertical design element provides draws your eye to the building, capitalizing on its visibility from the interstate.”
Nalley Lexus rises, with 38-foot-high walls – glass rimmed in steel and topped with concrete – beneath a curtain wall of Reynobond® ACM topped with an American flag. The 131,000 square foot facility, which opened in June 2004, is divided into a showroom and an impressive service theatre. Behind the glass curtain walls, 15-ft by 52-ft indoor billboards communicate the brand image of America’s bestselling luxury automobile. Further reinforcing the Lexus brand, a corner turret houses an 11-ft by 17-ft high-resolution video screen showing the product in use.
Kistler-McDougall of Woodstock, GA fabricated and installed 5,000 square feet of Reynobond® ACM with a PE core, coated with a Colorweld 300 XL Champagne Metallic finish, on the façade of the towers and canopies. “The field measure and fabrication of the exterior radius wing was intricate and left little room for error – especially as this feature greets all customers approaching Nalley Lexus Galleria,” commented Bhrett Kistler of Kistler-McDougall. Choate Construction Co. of Atlanta, GA was the General Contractor for the project.
The Lexus brand message is communicated throughout the structure, with materials selected to convey an attitude of understatement and elegance appropriate to Lexus’ luxury status. The layout is easy to navigate, designed to allow customers a view of every aspect of the operation from almost anywhere in the building. In the outside sales area, cars are displayed in four zones leading customers to the showroom entrance. Inside, they are greeted at the concierge desk of black marble and cherry accented with brushed steel and backed by custom, sand-blasted glass in a basket weave pattern. The cars are featured on glass tile circles with a border of black river-stones. Showroom offices are urnished in cherry, maple and leather. An 80-ft expanse of interior windows allows customers to observe the 53-bay service area from one of the three lounges (all with wi-fi) including the Nalley Lexus Starbucks Café, which serves complimentary beverages.