There is a reinvigorated enthusiasm worldwide for the colorful, trendy, classic MINI Cooper that brought the need for a new dealership to Albuquerque. Jon Anderson Architect determined that the new Sandia Mini dealership should act as a backdrop or jewel case for the mania-worthy little car rather than an icon in itself. This is the design concept that ultimately became the force that lead to the clean and sophisticatedly simple award-winning facility.
The site sits several feet below the pavement of Interstate 25, strengthening the concept of displaying a MINI in a manner that would be visible from the freeway; in essence, a billboard for itself. This concept was realized by cantilevering a car from the second floor of the dealership in a frameless glass box; a very different idea than MINI dealerships built in other parts of the country.
The initial photo-realistic renderings of the design reviewed by MINI national corporate administrators were controversial, but well received and met the vision of the progressive design intent which is the image that MINI Corporate wanted to project to the public. Although there were much larger population bases that wanted a MINI dealership, the Albuquerque facility was approved based on the image established by the renderings and the quality of the BMW dealership on the same site also designed by Jon Anderson Architect.
Architect:Jon Anderson, FAIA
Project Manager:Kevin Sweet, AIA
General Contractor:Paul W. Kenderdine Inc.
Awards:2006 AIA Western Mountain Region Design Citation Award
2006 AIA New Mexico Design Merit Award
2005 AIA Albuquerque Design Honor Award