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BMW Donford Cape Town – Make life a ride

Cape Town has a new new-generation BMW Motorrad Cape Town lifestyle showroom on Buitengracht Street, a pilot 2600 m² hub for motorcyclists, and home to a smart Tribe restaurant.  The German BMW Motorrad CEO is extremely happy with how the Donford BMW Motorrad Cape Town has turned out, the first of a new-generation of lifestyle stores they will open up around the world.  The design was done by Kalla Smit of TV3 Architects and Planners.

It took four months from the designers’ visit to the opening of the lifestyle showroom, a very fast turn-around time.   The design of the Cape Town showroom is unique, never seen before, and probably unlikely to be copied.

The architects brief was simple, but challenging:  “We need to revamp this old building to a new global concept store that drives the combination of motorcycles and café society. Donford BMW Motorrad and Tribe want to creatively collaborate to ignite the engines of all lovers of adventure – whether they are coffee professionals, ardent bikers, or merely admirers. We only have 4 months to do this. I want the floor to look and feel like an old garage floor, but it must be durable, stylish, easy to maintain and it must be a functional.”

The building has a long history, and the designers chose to retain some of the exposed brickwork in the walls, linking the heritage of BMW and Cape Town in the building.

World of Decorative Concrete decided to come up with a ground and polished concrete floor. To create the feel and look of an old garage floor, a 2% black Lafarge Artevia Polished Concrete with black aggregate, would be a 100% fit. The challenge was to remove the existing old badly cracked concrete floor, install a new concrete floor and to do the grinding and polishing, all within the time frame and also allow other trades to continue with their own activities.

According to Stephan Schaller, Global President of BMW Motorrad, the group currently has 1000 motorcycle dealers worldwide. They would like to see this number increase to 1500 in the next five years.

“That is why this dealership is such a good role model because it is exactly whatwe want it to look like,” Schaller said at the launch event of this new-generation BMW Motorrad Cape Town lifestyle showroom.

Jake Easton of Tribe wanted a dark concrete floor with black marks on, that simulates an old oily garage floor, but that is still clean and functional. World of Decorative Concrete decided to install a normal 2% black Artevia Concrete,  just polish and seal it, to create that look. Jake was not 100% satisfied with the final 2% black Artevia Concrete look and feel and wanted a more irregular oily garage floor look. World of Decorative Concrete than decided  to stain the floor with a black concrete strainer and create these wanted oily marks …….which ended  up Jake doing the staining himself to create the look that he had in mind. The end result speaks for itself.

The Tribe Coffee Roasting restaurant has a long table at which one can sit with others, there is seating in the window facing the street, and there is a coffee table with a glass sheet resting on Boxer engines from BMW motorcycles. There are black leather couches with the finest red stitching, so discreet that one has to be shown it to see it. The chairs are unusual in design, never seen elsewhere in Cape Town. Hanging plants by Opus Studio soften the hard mechanical interior elements. There are silver lines in the design which give the Tribe section an Art Deco feel.  Pendant light fittings were made from motorcycle engine parts.

Mark explained the collaboration with Tribe: ‘We want to entice non-motorcyclists to come in and experience the Cape Town lifestyle. We’d like people to come and enjoy the café, people who aren’t necessarily there for the bikes, and who might then want to venture out onto the floor and visit our beautifully engineered products. What better way to do this than with a café that has wonderful coffee? That’s why we positioned the café right at the front of the showroom, looking out onto the street’.  The interior designer was Michelle Trimborn of Design Quarters.