Art & Design
Rarely does one think of an automobile dealer’s showroom as an architectural landmark, but southeast Denver’s Greenwood Village now boasts a proud new resident whose facility is a show-stopping jewel. Kuni Lexus, formerly located on south Broadway amidst a row of high-end auto dealers, opened their new Lexus gallery and customer service department in May 2013, ending more than twenty years of growth and success in Littleton.
Their new home occupies a six-acre, 196,000 square-foot campus designed by Texas architect and auto dealership specialist Michael Graves, CEO of the Dakota Company, along with other members of his talented team. Incorporating various aspects of current retail and entertainment ventures for the famed Japanese Lexus brand, (the high-end division of Toyota), the dealership adds new panache to one of the city’s finest burbs.
An Elegant Showroom
Rising with monumental and classical proportions along the southeast side of Belleview and Quebec, the stone clad structure boasts a west-facing two-story glass window wall, complemented by Colorado river rock. The rich stone textural segments used outside are repeated throughout the clean and reflective interior, its floors aglow with shining marble and black granite and warmed by rosewood-stained African bubinga on select walls and sales stations.
A two-story waterfall cascading between panes of glass etched with the Kuni Lexus logo greets the visitor upon entering, partially obscuring the view to the elegant main showroom. As you enter, a select sampling of the most current luxury automobiles sit like sculpture amidst the desks; pristine and polished, tempting and seductive—glistening
four-wheeled objects of desire. Inviting and semi-private seating areas throughout provide perfect car viewing and a comfortable wait, unless one chooses to engage with the amenities. “Some people have likened the showroom to a resort,” affirmed general sales manager Shawn Evans. “It’s a place to relax and feel pampered.”
Pampered is an understatement but the perception is instant. Short term waits can be enjoyed in a comfortable main floor lounge replete with coffee, beverages and light snacks; a space where up-to-the-minute news flows from flat screen TVs. Alternately, one might choose to stroll the showroom. The intriguing open plan drives circulation around and under a broad, two-story open wood staircase, allowing for the flow of natural and artificial light. Throughout, the sophisticated integration of fine leather and fabric furnishings in shades of black, brown, pale yellow and cream creates a soothing and restful environment, refined but rugged. Pixar-quality animated flat wall touch screens delight the eye with short pieces designed to entertain. Even the marble-clad restrooms are appointed with luxury materials and built-in TVs.
Continue reading the full story in our December/January issue...
Corinne Brown, Colorado novelist and freelance writer, writes about architecture and design for a variety of publications. She's thrilled when two of her favorite things; cars and good architecture, come together in a creative way.