Lookers Audi Wearside was completed in 2017. It is a 12 car showroom with a 14 bay workshop and MOT faciality. To make the most of the site the building was designed with a rooftop car deck accessed by a ramp down on side of the building.
The showroom building is in effect two storeys with the front elevation being approximately 9 m high. The use of glass is restricted to the main showroom concourse and as such extends to a height of 5 m.
The dynamic sloped form of the glazing is a key element of the Audi Terminal. These slopes cut through the outer skin of the building and sweep through the interior, creating dynamic sloping walls inside the building. This sense of movement can be viewed from outside as well as in and creates a unified whole that reflects the Audi image.
The building utilises a steel frame with concrete floors, on both the ground and first floor levels. The external fabric is predominantly cladding and glass however; the materials specified have good thermal characteristics and are detailed to achieve a very high energy performance. The use of a perforated rain screen cladding to the main showroom gives the building a distinctive translucent quality and sets it apart from the workshop. The materials used together form a palette which is mostly silver and grey, but they work together to provide a style of architecture which is unique.
The building is located on the site of the previous Peugeot Garage and adjacent to the Ford Dealership which was completed in early 2014.
As part of the continued drive to improve the quality of service offered to customers, Audi UK wishes its dealers to operate from modern custom-built premises suited to the needs of the business. Audi requires its dealers to meet more exacting environmental standards responding positively to customer requirements for better quality and more efficient servicing facilities.
Part of Audi UK requirements are that their dealerships should be easily visible from the main road and provide sufficient parking to sustain the operational requirements of the business, whilst not allowing this feature to become dominant. Careful attention is also paid to the need to provide for safe access to and from the site and satisfactory circulation within it.
The drive toward showrooms and large associated workshops on one site helps create a more efficient operation, together with the greater opportunity for more linked trips / business and employment opportunities, which in turn can lead to a more sustainable pattern of use.
Good design can help promote sustainable development; improve the quality of the existing environment; attract business and investment; and reinforce civic pride and a sense of place.