An innovative use of prefabrication and architectural design has solved site and time constraints at a new Porsche dealership in Doncaster, Victoria.

Designed by Technē Architecture and Interior Design, the project features a unique stacked configuration to navigate the difficult suburban site.

At just 1674 square metres the footprint is significantly smaller than most car dealerships, which typically have their components spread across a wider site.

In response to the difficult site, Technē have designed a ‘vertical dealership’, with the showroom, workshop, offices and car storage stacked on top of each other.

The stacked configuration of the building gives the business a great presence and reflects the prestige of the Porsche brand.

A deliberate decision to utilise prefabricated construction in this project was able to significantly reduce the structure’s installation time to just 26 days – six months faster than if traditional methods had been used.

The use of prefabrication has also minimised costs, with conventional in-situ building methods requiring an expensive framework to support the floor system.

The absence of this framework allowed other trades to enter the site, again tightening the overall construction time.

“Every part of the structural system was prefabricated,” says Technē Director Nick Travers.
“The system has advantages given the small site size and limitations on space for setting up for construction using standard in-situ building techniques.”

The combination of technology and design in this project epitomises the Technē company name, which translates from ancient Greek to mean ‘to make, poetically.’

The new structure includes four suspended floors, precast beams and hollow- core planks with clear spans up to 15 metres.

Three precast lift shafts facilitate two car lifts and a passenger lift. This added technology is a distinct feature of the project, replacing the traditional ramps of most car dealerships to overcome the reduced site.

Hollow Core is the manufacturer and also the name of the specialty precast concrete product used in the structure. The product features hollow tubular sections, making the concrete planks 40 per cent lighter and able to span up to 16.5 metres supported only at each end.

“Being made in a factory, which is a controlled environment, takes away uncertainty” Travers says.

“The architectural design of the facility responds to the Porsche brand, its remarkable cars and the high standard of service offered in their dealerships.”

The ground floor is dedicated entirely to the showroom, with a double-height workshop located on the first level and a series of offices on the mezzanine level. The rooftop is used to house all the vehicles waiting to hit the showroom.

A clean aesthetic is achieved through frameless glazing and crisp Alucobond panels.

Black, ribbed precast concrete panels used in the service areas create a strong contrast and give the building a solid base.