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Mercedes-Benz’s sophisticated San Francisco showroom lets in the light with an extensive use of glass

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For Mercedes-Benz’s expansion of its 50,000-square-foot showroom, Huntsman Architectural Group (San Francisco) designed four independent buildings to house the showroom, sales, administrative offices, service and storage. Each area features a clean, bright palette of gray, silver and white and incorporates an abundance of glass to bring in natural light.

In the first building, which is home to a two-story-high showroom, designers created a cylindrical glass tower where new auto models are displayed. Large glazed windows create a visual connection between the showrooms and adjacent streetscape.

Lighting had to be at a relatively low light level in the showrooms, according to designers, to enhance the appearance of the cars and make the paint reflect with a glass-like smoothness.

The second building is a slender, three-story glass-enclosed atrium that connects the two showrooms and features a media wall with flat screens against ash-colored wood. A third houses the service department with in-ground car lifts to maintain a clean aesthetic when not in use.

For the administrative office building, designers incorporated skylights with exposed wood beam ceilings for touches of warmth.

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Client: Mercedes-Benz of San Francisco – David Barsotti, president

Design/Architect: Huntsman Architectural Group, San Francisco – Mark Harbick, vp, design director; Robin Bass, job captain; Rex McLean, project architect; Krystal Kavney, interior designer; Rene Calara, architect; Bert Ayers, architectural designer; Anita Rick, architectural designer; Edwin Walters, interior designer

General Contractor: Plant Construction Co., San Francisco

Outside Design Consultants: Bill Hansell, San Francisco (consulting architect); Murphy Burr Curry, San Francisco (structural engineer); Anderson Rowe Buckley, San Francisco (mechanical engineer); Decker Electric, San Francisco (electrical engineer); HE Banks + Associates, San Francisco (lighting designer); Air and Lube, San Francisco (service area systems)

Audio/Visual/Signage/Graphics: Mercedes-Benz USA LLC, Montvale, N.J.

Ceilings: Armstrong Commercial Ceilings, Lancaster, Pa.

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Flooring: Automotive Facilities, Richardson, Texas; Forbo Linoleum, Hazleton, Pa.; Bentley Prince Street, Los Angeles

Furniture: Steelcase, San Francisco

Lighting: Zumtobel Lighting Inc., Highland, N.Y.; Finelite, Union City, Calif.

Cabinetry and Architectural Woodwork: Commercial Casework, Fremont, Calif.

Photography: David Wakely Photography, San Francisco

 

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