Showing off your car to admiring friends is easy while on the road, but what about when you are relaxing at home?
Enter our dream luxury garage designed by Eric Carlson from Paris' CARBONDALE, created for the ultimate car collector.
Carlson has taken the idea of a looping infinity shape - romantically akin to racetracks - and transformed it into a garage-showroom for collectors to show off their cars.
When it comes to cars, their beauty is multifaceted. From the sleek exteriors to the complex motors, each section deserves to be admired. With that in mind, Carlson's vision is to highlight a car's splendour from all angles.
To maximise the visibility of cars, the garage is positioned in the centre of the house and surrounded by glass walls, floors and ceiling - allowing the vehicles to be admired from above, below and from all sides.
From the moment the car is driven into the garage, through a motorised sliding glass door, to when it is parked, it is the star of the show.
Carlson's vision is to create a garage which becomes the focus of the home. "It is designed so that each automobile can be admired when eating, sleeping, bathing, swimming, jogging and practising their golf swing," he says.
The garage is designed for "the James Bond and Jet Li" of our times, he says.
In other words, it is for the dapper ladies and gentlemen who appreciate the finer things in life and the details in all things luxury.
"Even when dressing they can choose their clothes, shoes, watches, cuff links and jewellery and, of course, the car that goes with them," Carlson adds.
Although the cars are the ultimate trophy in the garage, Carlson and his team will also curate vehicle-related art installations to subtly but continuously keep the focus on the star of the show.
The glass walls used for the garage have the benefit of allowing natural sunlight to bask over the cars. "When we designed the new archetype of showroom [and] museums for BMW in Paris, London and New York, we discovered the importance of the lighting [for] automobiles," he says.
Like any other collectable, lighting can make or break the way a car looks in the showroom.
As a result, Carlson placed a swimming pool atop the garage for an additional touch. "During the day, the natural light passes through the water to dapple the car with light."
Refraction of light in the water gives the car a halo-like glow, allowing the car's true beauty to shine.
When the sun goes down, a similar effect is created with the aid of special lighting.
"We integrated a continuous line of diffused lighting to create 'swage lines' that highlight the contours and curves of the car bodies," Carlson explains.
By integrating lighting with these technical swage lines, he says, the curved shape of a car's body will be highlighted as the light source will reflect from the curved surface to underscore the sleek curves of each individual vehicle.
Customisation is the name of the game for Carlson, and the architect admits much of the material used will have to be specially customised for the purposes of constructing the garage.
The material used to create the glass walls will be time-consuming to produce and costly. Since the glass is required to hold up the floor and the cars, it is important that it has the structural integrity and capacity to withstand the weight.
As a result, Carlson and his team expect it will take up to 24 months to research and build prototypes of the glass to ensure it is safe to use and aesthetically pleasing.
Special work is also required on the pool.
With seemingly invisible edges, thanks to its all glass exterior, the pool must be cantilevered structurally.
This provides for an additional technical difficulty, but for Carlson the beauty is worth the work.
WHAT: Ultimate Fantasy Garage and Home
WHO: Eric Carlson
ARCHITECT Based in Paris, Carlson is the founder of CARBONDALE.His projects varyfrom private residences to art installations, all with the common denominator of high-end customisation. The studio isknown forits work with luxury brands, and Carlson has led creative international projects including the Louis Vuitton Flagship store on the Champs Elysees, the Celine store on Avenue Montaigne in Paris, the BMW showroom on Avenue George Valso in Paris, the 360° Watch Museum in Switzerland and the Iguatemi Shopping Mall in Sao Paulo.