The Mazda Showroom in Nef
The architecture of the Mazda showroom in Nef, Switzerland was conceived as a container specifically designed for displaying the contents, namely the cars on sale.
The technological envelope seeks to unite the container and the contents within the same construction concept.
As a recent building typology, car dealerships have gradually developed into fully-fledged showrooms in which the display areas are designed as functional and rational interiors that present the exhibited technology in the best possible way but are also spatially appealing so as to capture customers’ attention.
Like shopping centres and industrial areas, car dealerships can no longer be considered «non-places» or mere «transit places» and offer an outstanding opportunity for contemporary architecture to revisit conventional design concepts. A car dealership like that of Mazda has in this respect pushed back the horizons of the traditional field of application, offering an effective response to the clients’ aesthetic and functional specifications.
Outside, the curved wall of the façade flexes organically, adapting smoothly to the form of the perimeter wall. Consisting of blue panels, it epitomises movement and simulates the dynamism of the cars that are displayed inside.
Essential and elegant, every detail of the car showroom expresses the idea of movement, speed and technological progress.
The large windows, set back from the façade, invite visitors inside and appear to be specially designed to project the concept of Mazda Europa into the outside world.
As the formal expression of a hi-tech style, the large show windows display the automobile concept and supersede the traditional model of car dealerships.
The glass shell encloses a large internal space whose meticulous layout meets display and administrative requirements. The use of natural light during the day and well-designed artificial lighting at night further improves the sense of space.
Inside, the showroom is devoted to the Mazda brand, focusing on the quality of details and the choice of materials, especially ceramic, that combine strength and functionality with outstanding aesthetic qualities.
The interior features an enormous but welcoming open space that occupies the entire length of the building, enveloped by the windows.
Alongside a search for transparency, the design project focused on an open-plan layout in which the floor has the role of providing continuity between the work spaces, exhibition areas and workshop. The project used 600 square metres of Feren porcelain tile (North Stone series) from Fiordo Industrie Ceramiche with a lapped surface in a 60×60 cm size.
The innovative North Stone ceramic tile is produced using new Double Pressed technology.
Fiordo, North Stone series
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): E < 0,08%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): ULA - UHA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): < 145 mm3
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): compliant
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R11
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant