Meredith O'Shaughnessy has been awarded third place in the Future Luxury Retail Design Competition with a proposal to repurpose multi-storey car parks in urban settings into luxury retail and entertainment spaces.
Called The Crossing, O'Shaughnessy's proposal features a whiskey bar where guests can enjoy Bentley honey-infused cocktails, as well as an exclusive section for media and VIP guests to explore Bentley's material innovations.
Another floor would include a high-tech speaker room that doubles as a listening booth as well as a concert venue to highlight Bentley's dynamic in-car audio technology.
As a nod to the building's former use as a car park, The Crossing would feature an undulating driving track that extends around the building and onto the roof, mimicking coiling ramps typically found in car parks. Visitors would be able to select from a range of settings that would simulate scenic landscapes using projection mapping.
The Future Luxury Retail Design Competition judging panel consisted of visualisation artist Charlotte Taylor, Halleroed co-founder Ruxandra Halleröd and Parisian concept store Colette co-founder Sarah Andelman. They were joined by Chris Cooke, head of design collaborations at Bentley Motors, and Dezeen editorial director Max Fraser.
"The concept of reutilising car parks was the real hook," the judges said. "We liked the way the concept responded to the aesthetic of the car park in a futuristic and aspirational way."
"A car park is something that's normally so grisly and horrible that you want to get out of it immediately. This proposal flips that on its head in an inventive way."
Automotive models shown in imagery are not associated with Bentley.
Read more about the proposal below:
The Crossing by Meredith O'Shaughnessy
"The Crossing comes from 'criu,' an old Welsh word and the origin of the name of Bentley's famous home, Crewe. With this name, Bentley celebrates the shift from historical legacy to a sustainable future.
"The design incorporates sustainability at every stage. Using the innovation developed at the Dream Factory in Crewe, solar panels power the entire structure, while the heart of the building showcases pods filled with vegetation nourished by recycled water systems.
"A distinctive feature of the concept is the driving track. Customers will choose pre-set programmes that adapt the track to create an immersive personalised grand touring experience epitomised by the Continental and Bacalar.
"This allows first-time luxury customers to create a visceral emotional connection and to feel the joy of being behind the wheel, without going to an intimidating race track or using busy public roads.
"The exclusive top floor CriuLAB offers insights into Bentley's material innovations, allowing customers to connect with the brand's sustainable vision. Highlights would include mycelium-grown leather and haptic experiences with seats made using MotorSkins, which are robotic fabrics embedded with fluidics that hug the body.
"The Crossing aligns perfectly with Bentley's pledge towards sustainability by repurposing existing urban concrete structures in city centres around the world.
"Each floor is designed to work as an individual experience that can be replicated across the world from the US to Japan, where The Crossing will be adapted for local tastes.
"By marrying grand touring experiences with eco-conscious urban settings, The Crossing represents a stride towards a greener future, proving that luxury and sustainability can coexist, and emphasising that sustainable decisions form the pinnacle of true luxury."
Future Luxury Retail Design Competition
The Future Luxury Retail Design Competition is a global contest that challenged architects and designers to define the future of luxury retail.
Through the competition, Dezeen and Bentley sought to explore the momentous changes currently taking place in the luxury industry and seek to discover forward-thinking ideas for both digital and physical luxury retail experiences of the future, in and out of the automotive world.
The contest received entries from over 145 contestants from more than 33 countries around the world.
The panel shortlisted 15 proposals, which were published on Dezeen. We are unveiling one finalist a day from 29 August, culminating in the winner being announced on 1 September.
The winner will receive a top prize of £15,000, while the runner-up will receive £10,000 and the third-placed entrant will receive £5,000.