British engineering and design consultancy Arup and London-based architectural studio Unism have released images of an underground showroom in Warsaw they’ve designed to house a private collection of eight heritage Aston Martin cars (with two extra spaces available for any future additions).
Set to be located 6.8 metres underground beneath a grassy knoll in one of the city’s leafy residential areas, the cave-like showroom will be reached via either a winding access ramp or a small elevator. It will be lit by a three-metre-wide skylight and asubtle lighting schemedesigned to create a dusk-like glow that reduces electricity use and enhances the visitor experience.
The showroom will also feature a turning platform to help swiftly park the vehicles anda pop-up cinema designed to imitate a drive-in theatre.The latter instigated an analysis to identify the most suitable material for the space in order to mitigate any potential acoustic issues caused by the room’s unconventional shape, which could cause an endless echo. The core structure will be made of reinforced concrete around a steel structure that shapes the curvilinear walls and finished with a layer of sprayed concrete.
The design of the ramp entrance required a detailed analysis of the cars’ parameters, including the limited turning radius and wheel width. Smooth manoeuvring in and out of the showroom was paramount because the cars regularly participate in races across Europe.
The showroom will be fully independent from the municipal heat and gas systems, using a ground-source heat pump system powered by 100-metre-deep pipes for heating during winter. Due to its underground location, the showroom will require little energy for cooling during summer. It will also feature an underground rainwater tank that will be used to water the garden above the showroom.
Using both traditional and digital parametric design methods, and using solely digital tools such as BIM 360, Revit and Grasshopper, the two teams carried out a fully digital collaboration, starting out by simplifying the design in order to carry out the calculations necessary to ensure the structure’s stability.The use of parametric design enabled them to create and analyse as many as ten different design variants within an hour-long meeting.
‘Collaborating with a multidisciplinary team equipped with parametric design skills enabled the integration of complex geometries with the surrounding landscape through a real-time form-finding process, resulting in a cave-like space hidden beneath the park,’ said Unism director Konrad Weka.