Ekris Showroom / ONL

Architects: ONL [Oosterhuis_Lénárd]
Location: Utrecht,
Lead Designers: Kas Oosterhuis, Ilona Lénárd
Project Architect: Gijs Joosen
Design team: Ronald Brandsma, Pim Marsman, Paulina Gurak, Rafael Seemann, Arnest Boender, Gerard van den Engel, Bas de Beer, Sanne Plomp, David Milam
Client: Ekris Utrecht BV
Project year: 2005-2007
Construction Area: Building A_5,400 sqm Building B_6,400 sqm
Budget: US $8,84 M
Photographs: ONL [Oosterhuis_Lénárd]

construction process


Seen from the A2 highway near Leidsche Rijn behind the Acoustic Barrier and the Hessing Cockpit , but seen from the commercial area itself placed in front of the Cockpit building, ONL builds 2 mirror-copied buildings for BMW dealer Ekris.

The 2 volumes together form a coherent image which refers to the 2 BMW grilles with slightly tilted bars. The double curved facade literally rounds the corner as the headlights of the new BMW 1 series and 5
series do. the design for the Ekris BMW showroom is in all styling aspects a shaped volume like the modern carbody itself. The construction of the 2 headlight buildings closely follow the architectural styling. As a consequence not a single constructive element is the same, the Ekris headlight building is another example of Non Standard Architecture. According to the principles of Mass-Customization [MC] and the unique F2F [file to factory] production processes as developed by ONL guarantee that the quality, precision and the costs are close to standard.

roof plan

Spending much of our precious time in the traffic jams it is a pleasure to watch the design of cars. Monitoring and analysing the automotive styling of the better brands makes the hours in traffic jams the most productive design time. The way headlights and backlights are embedded in the car body are of special interest to the non standard designer. After a long period of being functional lamps attached to the body, they have become integrated and active parts of the body, they have become much larger and they have become body parts, smoothly cooperating with and even emphasizing the folding lines of the body as a whole. For the BMW Ekris garage plus showroom ONL used the headlights of the new 5 series as a reference for the large glazed part rounding off the corner of the building body. The client immediately understood the concept.

Evolution of the building body. Architects must learn from the evolution of car bodies. In the thirties cars were still traditional coaches on top of a chassis, much like buildings are a loose set of components on top of a foundation structure. Cars evolved in the forties and fifties into monocoque structures, self-sufficient structural monocoque shells, preciously folded and perforated as to integrate a variety of organs, wiring and cladding materials. Now it is the architects turn to design and build monocoque structures, coherent enough to actually pick them up and displace them without losing its structural integrity.

Architecture is structure. In ONL’s design and manufacturing concept architecture has become one with structure. The expression of the structural monocoque integrity is at the same time the architectural expression. The design for the Ekris BMW showroom is in all styling aspects a three-dimensionally shaped volume like the modern car body itself. The construction of the two headlight buildings closely follow the architectural styling. As a consequence not a single constructive element is the same, the Ekris Headlight building is another example of non standard architecture. According to the principles of mass-customization and the unique file to factory production process as developed by ONL guarantee that the quality, the precision and the costs remain close to standard.

Cite: "Ekris Showroom / ONL" 18 Feb 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 28 Jul 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=14523>

10 comments

  1. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    great project, great details, great drawings… thank you for posting such a comprehensive package

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    This is the best presented project what I ever saw on the free side of the Internet. Please keep up the excelent work, it is really inspiring, truly our daily bread. Quality instead of quantity.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down -1

    always the same. for twenty years. The triangulated facades from ONL. Same Details, every time. This is no evolution.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    great…but is there any possibility to get dwg file with one of the this details which shows connection of glass with steel construction?

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    It is a nice design and thank you for this wonderful information I have benefited a lot in my studies in architecture thank you very much

Share your thoughts