Autopia is currently the world's biggest auto mall. It's was designed around the automobile -not the human- as the modue. As discomfiting as this may initially seem, GAD’s design brief was to create, quite literally, a shopping mall for cars, with the automobile being both the object of desire, as well as the end user.
Imagine the circulation of the parking garage combined with the program of a shopping mall, and you have a general idea of GAD’s starting point in designing this extraordinary place. As a parking garage, the circulation is drivable. As a shopping mall, all programmatic space has been effectively doubled to accommodate the automobile, with expansive 6 meter floor-to-ceiling heights and spacious indoor spans which create a sense of the outdoors within.
The building facade uses heat-resistant glass curtainwall construction, with galvanized stretch metal screening, which serves to blur and diffuse the building mass, as well as provide surface opportunities to embed graphics and lighting. An 800 meter automotive test track on the roof completes the program to create one of the most unique shopping experiences in Europe.
"Speed creates pure objects. It is itself a pure object, since it cancels out the ground and territorial reference points, since it runs ahead of time to annul time itself, since it moves more quickly than its own cause and obliterates that cause by outstripping it. Speed is the triumph of effect over cause, triumph of instantaneity over time as depth, the triumph of the surface and pure objectality over the profundity of desire. Speed creates a space of initiation, which may be lethal; its only rule is to leave no trace behind. Triumph of forgetting over memory, an uncultivated, amnesic intoxication.” Jean Baudrillard
"Beyond a certain scale, architecture acquires the properties of bigness. the best reason to broach bigness is the one given by climbers of mount everest: ‘because its there.’ Bigness is ultimate architecture.” Rem Koolhaas