In recent years, garages have undergone a remarkable transformation. No longer mere utilitarian spaces, they now represent prized real estate for the super-rich, offering a unique opportunity for car enthusiasts to not only house their precious vehicles but also revel in a luxurious living experience. These opulent garages have become known as "gallery spaces," combining drama, theater, and impeccable design, paired with cutting-edge technology and enticing backdrops. Today, the affluent can admire their car collections, surrounded by like-minded friends, in these extraordinary "man caves."
"We call them 'gallery spaces' rather than garages now. It's all about drama and theater and backdrops and the right kind of lighting. Gone are the days when a garage was just a concrete bunker," notes Graham Harris, a founding partner at SHH Architecture and Interior Design.
Luxury Amenities Redefine Car Storage
These exclusive garages offer a plethora of high-end amenities that cater to the whims and fancies of the super-rich. From advanced car racing simulators with wraparound screens and virtual-reality headsets to elaborate bars, full-length bowling alleys, golf simulators, and giant screens for watching sports, the boundaries of traditional garages have been shattered. One notable addition is the Samsung 'Wall,' a bespoke LED display that creates a striking backdrop for any scene one desires in their gallery space. The merging of garages with the American basement den concept has led to the creation of personal, glass-walled "sky garages," enabling car collectors to showcase their prized possessions with pride.
Materials and Design Reinvent the Modern Garage
Concrete floors have become passé, with a shift towards more sophisticated and stylish alternatives. For instance, in the West Hollywood apartment complex, there are "showroom quality" parking facilities that showcase hand-poured resin floors. Architects and designers have also incorporated other innovative design elements, such as lighting systems that enhance the visual appeal of the cars, giving an impression of floating. Moreover, turntables in the floor and hydraulic racking systems have made it easier to stack, move, and display cars, ensuring that the favored vehicle is always within reach.
Redefining Residential Living with Car-Driven Luxury
Property developers are leveraging the allure of luxury vehicles to create unique, car-centric residential experiences. Gil Dezer, a billionaire property developer, has designed the Porsche Design Tower in Miami, complete with unique features like the patented "Dezervators," central car lifts that transport vehicles to glass-walled sky garages. Similarly, upcoming ventures like the Bentley Residences in Miami aim to continue the automobile experience, incorporating design cues from the prestigious car brand.
While these developments target car enthusiasts and require ownership of vehicles, they offer a lifestyle beyond the traditional notion of luxury living. The Bentley Residences, for example, will feature balcony swimming pools and offer a seamless transition of music from the car to the apartment, ensuring a complete automotive experience for residents.
However, it's worth noting that not all residents choose to be reminded of their beloved cars at all times. Some have chosen to drywall over the windows that overlook the garage, thus adding a touch of personal preference.
Revolutionizing Car Storage for the Super-Rich
The rise of extravagant garages marks a significant shift in the perception of car storage. What was once considered a suburban dream that separated cars from the rest of the home has evolved into a haven for car enthusiasts to connect with their prized possessions alongside fellow aficionados. By redefining garages as gallery spaces and incorporating luxury amenities, modern materials, and innovative design, these garages have become a status symbol for the super-rich.
As the trend continues, the cultural significance of these extravagant garages will undoubtedly shape the architectural landscape and the future of luxury car storage.