In a city where gilded goods and luxurious experiences are as common as sunshine in the desert, even the epitome of luxury automotive brands Mercedes-Benz acknowledges Dubai requires an entirely elevated approach to attract one of the world’s wealthiest car-loving clientele through their doors. Located adjacent to Dubai’s Design District, the newly unveiled Mercedes-Benz Brand Center Dubai opens symbolic of a new wave of luxury retail within the city, incorporating modern architecture, sustainable landscaping, bespoke technologies, unique programming, and numerous layers of hospitality into an orchestration of the senses.
Guided by Mercedes-Benz Brand Design and shaped by the automotive brand’s “Sensual Purity” design philosophy, the Mercedes-Benz Brand Center Dubai was realized by architectural firm Binchy and Binchy for UAE-based authorized Mercedes-Benz distributor Gargash Group. The center certainly assumes the role of an oasis of progressively respectful architecture stationed within a city increasingly defined by its nebulously contemporary skyline projecting upward, instead confidently content to stretch gently outward, respectfully private of its contents.
The center’s front facing facade, characterized by two layers of sensuously undulating parabolic ribbons, presents what may seem like a uniform husk from afar. Closer up, the curving planes reveal themselves to be a complex interconnected architectural surface of metal cladding of varying angles – a modern armor of perforated panels backlit with an LED lighting system bespoke to the building, adding a glimmer network of 3-point stars across sections of the building’s surfaces at night and much welcome shade during the daytime.
According to Binchy and Binchy’s Design Director Jennie Binchy, the firm made great efforts to source materials and contract the expertise of local UAE manufacturers, noting the firm’s intent was to be respectful and acknowledging of the region’s architectural language. Alongside the scale and orientation of the Mercedes-Benz Brand Center, the exterior is one of surprising and welcome subtlety, an effect credited to the firm’s admiration and studied practice of incorporating traditional solutions through the prism of technological tools and construction methods.
Inside, guests are greeted by layers of hospitality ranging from a coffee and refreshments bar, to various retail displays of goods and gifts including – but not exclusive – to the Mercedes-Benz brand. Vintage cars are parked prominently next to the latest models, including high-performance Mercedes-AMG cars, with the even more exclusive Maybach line afforded its own secluded section.
Even in opulent Dubai, sustainability has become a marketable feature, if not a necessity. 25% of the Brand Center’s electricity is provided by an array of rooftop solar panels. Additionally, Jennie Binchy notes the firm made efforts to hide away HVAC units from view, respectful of the numerous neighboring inhabitants living and working in high rises nearby.
Additionally drought-tolerant and indigenous landscaping was planted to acclimate to the local climate with only a minimal amount of irrigation requirements. The Brand Center’s parking lot also hosts 15 on-premises charging stations, of which four have rapid charging capabilities able to fully charge vehicles in around 30 minutes.
The Center’s architecture also reflects the brand and dealer’s aspirations to host curated seasonal programming extending beyond the automotive realm, with focuses on lifestyle, design, arts, culture, technology, and even watchmaking, with rooms easily configurable to host a variety of events.
At the crossroads of the EV revolution, generational changes in purchasing habits, and the democratization of luxury, the automotive industry recognizes a brand in itself is no longer enough. The Mercedes-Benz Brand Center in Dubai emerges as one of the more engaging experiential and sensorial architectural retail developments of the region, showcasing the feeling of luxury as much as literally selling it.