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MBH unveils its first stylish automotive concept for Tesla


Alameda, California-based architectural practice, MBH Architects, has designed the Tesla project. Completed in 2013, the stylish showroom was unveiled for luxury car brand Tesla in Los Angeles.

When Tesla acquired its new showroom at Westfield Mall near Beverly Hills in California, the team approached the architects to reinterpret the brand’s signature design into the space. Working within a footprint of only 892 square feet, MBH adapted the brand’s concept into an open, versatile retail concept that incorporates every element of a Tesla showroom.


The contemporary showroom facade makes a strong visual statement, with Tesla’s signature red, grey, and white colours complemented by a chrome exterior, glass doors, and large, striking Tesla logo spread across the top. Inside, the MBH project team used every square foot to its advantage, opening up the entire storefront to drive a display car inside. MBH employed fabric wall panels instead of floor fixtures for merchandise, optimizing floor space. MBH’s design concept creates an interactive and fun experience for shoppers.

Reena Nadkarni, project manager and associate of MBH Architects, said to Adelto: “The car’s design is clean and simple. Tesla has taken that same idea through the showroom so that the car remains the focus.”


What was the biggest challenge during the Tesla project?

The tight timeline presented a challenge. MBH Architects worked hard, but had a very efficient team. We had some minor delays getting permits from the City of Los Angeles, but the project team has extensive experience moving the permit process along, especially in California. Furthermore, Tesla has a clear design concept, and their showrooms are usually fasttrack projects around four months.

Another challenge for us was adapting Tesla’s design into the small footprint of the showroom space. The design primarily comes from Tesla; their design vision is to have everything focused on highlighting the car. The store is very open, with merchandise and graphics on the walls, instead of on a fixture which would take up floor space. Tesla has a signature lighting element that wraps over the car in order to direct all lighting towards the automobile. Due to the small size of this location, MBH had to figure out how to fit this lighting element into the space effectively.


How would you describe the overall design of the project?

The space is intended to be both a retail space and a showroom. The location is clean, approachable in a highly trafficked mall, and invites pedestrians and potential buyers to stop by and sit in a Tesla car. While the space does show off the car and the brand, it is also intended as a retail space. There is a small design studio where shoppers can configure the car specifically to their preferences, and see carbon fiber samples.


What stands out the most for you in the project?

The façade is one of the most striking features of the space. During construction, we opened up the facade completely in order to bring the test car into the showroom, and installed large glass doors that allow pedestrians to easily see the car from across the mall.


What current design trends did you incorporate into the project?

MBH Architects’ adaptation of Tesla’s design concept uses very clean, simple lines and has a strong interactive retail component. For a handson experience, Tesla’s Design Studio gives customers an insider’s look into the brand and what makes a Tesla vehicle different from others. Prospective buyers can view colours, customise and build their own car, and purchase retail items with the Tesla name. MBH was excited to work with Tesla, and was very proud to execute all of Tesla’s modern design elements in the space.




Images courtesy of Misha Bruk

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February 24, 2014 | Property | View comments

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