Remarkable showroom greets Queenstown

By Wright Communications

The angular building was designed by acclaimed Arrowtown architect Anna Marie Chin to reflect the strong design ethos of the brand and is itself a sculpture.

"The vision to have Lexus in Queenstown started around three years ago after seeing the accelerating growth in the area," said Glen Rutherford, the CEO of Lexus Queenstown. "We were a Lexus service centre and approached Lexus New Zealand about the opportunity."

"Our vision and design of the "Lexus Lounge" had to fit with the dramatic landscape and the luxury product."

Mr Rutherford said the GWD Motor Group wanted to do something extraordinary and provide its clients with a visual and aesthetically pleasing experience, reflecting the start of the customer journey with Lexus.

"The design brief from GWD Motors was to make it unique and fit in with the environment," said Chin. "They're quite progressive. It had to highlight Lexus as a forward-thinking brand and it also had to be compact as there wasn't a lot of space."

The dealership, near Queenstown airport, has the Remarkables as a dramatic backdrop. "They're stunning, rugged yet beautiful at the same time. The building is designed to respond to its surrounding."

As part of the design, the traditional Lexus signage and logo were split. "The building is the sign. Lexus was very supportive of our proposal. It's a less is more philosophy. Curiosity in the building will attract people in."

Once inside people will find Lexus of Queenstown is not a conventional car showroom either. "It's a different way of displaying cars. The roof opens up, it's not a static space," said Chin. The platform for the vehicles sits in a gallery like space. "The lounge has a warmer more intimate feel, a bit like a club lounge."

The main structure was built off-site in Invercargill and then trucked to Queenstown for installation, where the external and internal finishing was completed.

"We wanted to minimise disruption to the rest of the site," said Chin. "It was also designed to be moved in the future if necessary."

Lexus of Queenstown is the seventh and newest dealership in the Lexus nationwide network. It is owned by GWD Motor Group, which has outlets in Invercargill, Alexandra, Gore and Queenstown.

'We have always appreciated our Lexus customer support in Otago," said Paul Carroll, the Senior General Manager for Lexus New Zealand.

"With the rapidly expanding Queenstown and Wanaka region, and our own expanding Lexus sales - up 16% this year - we felt it was time to provide a better level of support to the region."

"GWD are local people well connected to the Otago and Southland communities," said Mr Carroll.

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