Lexus Turns Its Dealerships Into Lounge & Gallery Spaces

The Intersect studios aim promote the company’s brand values rather than give the hard sell.

What happens when you mix a hotel lounge, art space, cafe and retail shop with a car dealership? Lexus is doing just that with a series of brand environment spaces. Mark Templin, Executive Vice President of Lexus International announced that they will open soon in select cities around the globe. A few details were revealed at ‘Design Matters’, a special event Lexus held in New York City to highlight their design ventures such as the Lexus Design Awards.

INTERSECT BY LEXUS will be a unique space in select global cities where people can experience Lexus without getting behind a steering wheel. Neither a dealership, nor a traditional retail space, guests will be able to engage with Lexus through design, art, fashion, culture, movies, music and technology.

The architectural space will be developed by Masamichi Katayama, the world-renowned interior designer and founder of the interior design firm Wonderwall. The first INTERSECT BY LEXUS will open in Aoyama, Tokyo, in the summer of 2013, followed by locations in New York City and Dubai.

Within the space, Lexus will display exclusive retail items called “CRAFTED FOR LEXUS.” Lexus commissioned Japanese artists to create unique pieces that are inspired by the brand’s philosophy: traditional craftsmanship with timeless beauty and innovative form and function.

You may not immediately recognize the design firm Wonderwall but if you have been in a recently opened Uniqlo store, they were responsible for the interior design. The renderings and scale model on display of the prototype Intersect location show a mix of familiar and modern styles. Classic Shaker style chairs mingle with sleek glass and stainless steel surfaces. The model shows rooms spread across three levels with a singular area devoted to presenting a Lexus vehicle. The New York City branch will be located in the Meatpacking District likely adjacent to the Highline Park and open in 2014.

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A selection of the ‘Crafted For Lexus’ products were on display at the event and included items ranging from tote bags to minimalist desk lamps. Many of the products were constructed using hand fabrication or a mix of modern and traditional craft techniques.

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In addition to the Intersect announcement, Lexus also previewed their new global advertising campaign “Amazing in Motion.” The ads will feature larger-than-life human figures constructed with 3-D printed components and natural material like bamboo and walnut finished by hand. The materials and finishes match those used in current Lexus vehicles. The figures are brought to life with a team of puppeteers, and Lexus staged a live performance to debut the male and female pair. The campaign will launch on May 1st 2013, scroll down for a teaser video showing the figures in motion.

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Lexus Design Matters

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