BMW GKL: The dawn of the indoor garage



    The instinct to nest and cocoon at home is so strong today that it might just give rise to this novel design trend.

    It’s almost unbelievable how a global health crisis has so drastically changed our perception of what a home is today. While most people regard it as a place of rest, it was the lockdown in Singapore that forced the home to become what we never knew it could be – an all-encompassing, full-service space for work, study, dining, fitness, and more.


    This newfound regard for the home is summed up succinctly in an Accenture report on Covid-19 that projects that there will be “a return en masse to the home as the epicenter of life and experiences.” The result of this cocooning instinct is that people are now looking for ways to expand their liveable spaces. That means, for instance, bringing your outdoor garden indoors. Or boarding up walls to convert the patio into a fitness corner. Or – and this is what we’re most intrigued by – integrating the outdoor garage into your living space. The idea certainly feeds into the current desire to nest and build a fort.


    You could drive right into the castle every day, so to speak, raise up the drawbridge, and retreat into safety. One person who has embraced this idea early on is Roy Teo, Creative Partner at Kri:eit Associates. His penchant for cars led him to design his house 10 years ago such that the living lounge features a wall-to-wall glass panel, through which he can view his ride of the day.


    Instead of tucking the automobile into a corner, Roy puts it front and centre, as if it were on display at a showroom. “This is an approach to objectify the automobile as a sculptural work of art,” Roy says. “It’s a pleasure to be able to admire it throughout the day.”


    Roy is currently taking this idea further with a new home that is under construction. Using Tony Stark’s high-tech underground garage as inspiration, he is building a basement that can display up to 13 cars, and that also houses a bar and entertainment area. Who else better than him to offer advice on integrating your garage into your living space? Here are three things to consider before embarking on the project, says Roy:


    1. Remember the garage is an extension of your space

    “Wherever in the house you place the car, it should be designed in a way that adds value to the overall space,” Roy says. For example, if you want to integrate your new 8 series Gran Coupe into the living room, the car corner could be designed like an art gallery. If you want to place the same Gran Coupe near your masculine man cave, then consider designing that space to look like a mechanic’s workshop.


    2. Indoor garage walls should be movable.

    “Try not to fix the walls around your car,” Roy reminds us. “Make them shutters that disappear into the ceiling, or doors that slide open and close.” This is because people may need to come into your home to clean or repair the car, in which case, you’d want ample space for workmen to move around.  Consider also height requirements. Take for example the boot of the X7 that opens up to a height of almost 2m. You want to make sure there is enough ceiling space for when you want to open up all the doors.


    3. Consider the true functions of a garage

    Aesthetics are important, but an indoor garage should also be functional. “Incorporate a drainage system into the space because there will be times where you’ll need to wash the car right there,” says Roy. “An exhaust system will remove fumes from your house quickly. And I strongly recommend specialised garage flooring that offers better grip.” And what if you had marble flooring throughout the home? Resting the car on marble is a no-no given the poor traction it offers and that marble is a porous material that stains easily. Roy offers a more appealing option: “Introduce a motorised turntable which acts as a circular ‘stage’. Give it a more practical finish and a colour that contrasts with the marble floor. That will add to the drama of mechanically revolving the prized vehicle for a 360-degree view.”

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