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Old 28th August 2012, 21:04   #1
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Smile My Architecture Thesis : Factory + Showroom

Hello everyone, i am a newbie here so thought of taking some help from you guys.

I am doing my bachelors in architecture and i am in my final year. The main motive of this thread is to ask you guys about my architecture research thesis which will start from december end of this year. We are given a time for 6 months to complete it and then the final jury is held.

Now coming to the main point.

I want to design a car factory which also includes a showroom for sales and service. Will this design work for the thesis or should i go for the usual way of designing residencial or commercial spaces ?

my main aim is to give the customer a completely different user experience as the person who buys the car would get to know as how is car is made. I also plan to design the building using carbonfibre as an element to give that extra petrosexual advantage over regular showrooms

I am starting this early because i want to collect all the data and start researching on the topics like structures and design so that i dont lag behind later.

I would really appreciate if you guys can help me out with this or if there is any member who has an idea regarding architectural thesis.

Regards

Aditya
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Old 30th August 2012, 11:14   #2
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Default re: My Architecture Thesis : Factory + Showroom

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Originally Posted by aditya.bhardwaj View Post
I want to design a car factory which also includes a showroom for sales and service.
Interesting idea, and one of the USPs would be a TRUE "visitor experience". Not just some 5 minute video and a box of chocolates.

The prospective buyers could tour the factory and see how the cars are made. Things like the quality checking, stress testing, general organization & technology on display, etc are impressive in these factories and do influence the car buyer's choice.


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my main aim is to give the customer a completely different user experience as the person who buys the car would get to know as how is car is made.
An idea : a viewing experience completely isolated from the workings of the factory. Perhaps an overhead glass walkway (glass floor?) that "walks over" parts of the manufacturing line. Take a look at the links below for a better understanding of car factories and their workings :

Ford factory: A look at a modern Indian factory (Chennai)
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...s-fiestas.html (PICS : Ford's Chennai Factory. Detailed report on the making of Figos, Fiestas...)

Mercedes factory: Part of the visitor experience here is the AMG cars - for a lucky few (Pune)
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...chakan-mh.html (PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH))

Jaguar factory: Stepping it up a notch in terms of visitor experience (UK)
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...making-xj.html (PICS : Jaguar's Castle Bromwich (UK) Factory. Detailed report on the making of the XJ)

McLaren factory: Quite insane. Old thread so some pics are missing. Check out the building too (i've added a video at the end of this post)
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/intern...deo-added.html (The Mercedes Mclaren Factory (Video added!))

Pagani "factory": A much smaller scaled, hands-on factory experience. Love it!
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...bo-pagani.html (Trip to Maranello/Modena - Ferrari, Lambo, Pagani)


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Originally Posted by aditya.bhardwaj View Post
Will this design work for the thesis or should i go for the usual way of designing residencial or commercial spaces ?
I have no idea about what is required from a thesis. But I'd say why walk the beaten path? Do something interesting and different!

I think theres tons of potential in factories -- greener spaces, more efficient handling of work-flow / logistics, etc. Just look at existing factories, see what the workers, companies and visitors don't like - and fix it.

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Originally Posted by aditya.bhardwaj View Post
I also plan to design the building using carbonfibre as an element to give that extra petrosexual advantage over regular showrooms
Does this thesis work have to be feasible? If so, this is probably not very $efficient$.

Also, slapping on carbon fibre everywhere is a very easy way to escape real design. There are many other avenues you could explore (eg. look at cars like structural forms, look at engine components as structural forms, etc.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by aditya.bhardwaj View Post
I am starting this early because i want to collect all the data and start researching on the topics like structures and design so that i dont lag behind later.
Some more reading/viewing for you :

Awesome factory - moving floor, integrated power delivery system, etc


McLaren factory i mentioned earlier :



cya
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Old 30th August 2012, 11:37   #3
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Smile re: My Architecture Thesis : Factory + Showroom

Quote:
Originally Posted by aditya.bhardwaj View Post
I want to design a car factory which also includes a showroom for sales and service. Will this design work for the thesis or should i go for the usual way of designing residencial or commercial spaces ?

my main aim is to give the customer a completely different user experience as the person who buys the car would get to know as how is car is made. I also plan to design the building using carbonfibre as an element to give that extra petrosexual advantage over regular showrooms
+1 to what Rehaan has said. Take the unknown path, will be a good learning exercise too. Are you planning to have a 3D model of the factory+showroom. Will you also be buidling a small showpiece model of the same? To know about the same the links which Rehaan has attached will help you understand the various sections a car manufacturing set up would have. Although I wouldnt combine a showroom/workshop with the factory, but a showroom with workshop concept is welcome. All the best, sorry dont know anything about architecture except oogling at the good ones.
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Old 30th August 2012, 12:36   #4
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Default re: My Architecture Thesis : Factory + Showroom

Interesting idea indeed.

I have only one doubt about this though. Typically factories in India are usually in the industrial area, away from city.

If you add a showroom along with the factory, I am not sure how many visits you would get. Typically when I want to take a test drive, I would like to find a showroom closest to my residence or office.

Having said that (I am going to contradict myself), one benefit I see of having a showroom away from city is that usually in a test drive, I do not get empty stretches to test the performance. Where as in this scenario, it would be easy, in fact would it be possible to have a test drive in the factory's test track! (who wouldn't love that? - do not know if there are regulatory/legal implications)

I have contradicted myself with regard to the showroom. But regarding the service center being with the factory, IMHO it is not a practical idea. Mostly, people drop the vehicle for service and need to find some means of returning back home (unless they wait till service is completed). Assuming a factory in an industrial area far awayt from the city, it would be difficult to get any kind of public transport. Also, the time taken to go back home and come back to factory might be too much.

Just thinking aloud here, thoughts from top of my head. I might be wrong on some points.
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Old 30th August 2012, 13:30   #5
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Smile re: My Architecture Thesis : Factory + Showroom

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
Interesting idea, and one of the USPs would be a TRUE "visitor experience". Not just some 5 minute video and a box of chocolates.

The prospective buyers could tour the factory and see how the cars are made. Things like the quality checking, stress testing, general organization & technology on display, etc are impressive in these factories and do influence the car buyer's choice.
.......................

cya
R
Wow, thanks a ton sir. This is just what i needed. Will surely go through all of this. And regarding the construction materials, carbon fibre was just an option. And i have already started researching on building structural forms.

Warm Regards

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
+1 to what Rehaan has said. Take the unknown path, will be a good learning exercise too. Are you planning to have a 3D model of the factory+showroom. Will you also be buidling a small showpiece model of the same? To know about the same the links which Rehaan has attached will help you understand the various sections a car manufacturing set up would have. Although I wouldnt combine a showroom/workshop with the factory, but a showroom with workshop concept is welcome. All the best, sorry dont know anything about architecture except oogling at the good ones.
Yes sir, i would be building a rendered 3D model and a physical model too. If i dont , i wont pass .

Quote:
Originally Posted by vasanthn21 View Post
Interesting idea indeed.

I have only one doubt about this though. Typically factories in India are usually in the industrial area, away from city.

If you add a showroom along with the factory, I am not sure how many visits you would get. Typically when I want to take a test drive, I would like to find a showroom closest to my residence or office.

Having said that (I am going to contradict myself), one benefit I see of having a showroom away from city is that usually in a test drive, I do not get empty stretches to test the performance. Where as in this scenario, it would be easy, in fact would it be possible to have a test drive in the factory's test track! (who wouldn't love that? - do not know if there are regulatory/legal implications)

I have contradicted myself with regard to the showroom. But regarding the service center being with the factory, IMHO it is not a practical idea. Mostly, people drop the vehicle for service and need to find some means of returning back home (unless they wait till service is completed). Assuming a factory in an industrial area far awayt from the city, it would be difficult to get any kind of public transport. Also, the time taken to go back home and come back to factory might be too much.

Just thinking aloud here, thoughts from top of my head. I might be wrong on some points.
Yes sir, you are completely right about the after sales service part. I even thought about it and it seems that i will provide only the factory and the showroom. The service part can be taken care by the respective service centres which are already present.

And regarding the site for the building. It would be a hypothetical site and i am still thinking about the location. This all comes in design process so will think about this a bit later. First i want to collect everything which will help me in designing and understanding how a factory works and then i will have to see how to incorporate the showroom as well .

As it is still in a conceptual stage, i am sure many things would come up including practical aspects. I will try my best to solve them.

Thank you so much

_________________

Now i also thought of doing something different to the overall surroundings of the factory. I remember there was a team of students from Maharashtra i guess who developed a device which was fitted on to the speed breakers so whenever a vehicle passes, due to friction , it converts that energy into electrical energy. I have some designs in mind. I will post the sketches once i am done with them

Lastly,

Will it be possible for me to do visit to any of the automobile factories in India. Will the makers allow an individual to see the process how the cars are made ?

If yes , then can you guys help me out.

Regards

Aditya
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Old 30th August 2012, 18:09   #6
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Default Re: My Architecture Thesis : Factory + Showroom

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Originally Posted by aditya.bhardwaj View Post
Will it be possible for me to do visit to any of the automobile factories in India. Will the makers allow an individual to see the process how the cars are made ?
Unlikely, but you have Team-BHP

Detailed look at Ford's Chennai Factory (PICS : Ford's Chennai Factory. Detailed report on the making of Figos, Fiestas...)

How the Jaguar XJ is built (PICS : Jaguar's Castle Bromwich (UK) Factory. Detailed report on the making of the XJ)
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Old 30th August 2012, 18:45   #7
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Smile Re: My Architecture Thesis : Factory + Showroom

Haha, thank you sir. Will surely go to these . But visiting the factory itself would be a different experience to me. I will try to write to some companies and see what they think about it.

Thanks

Aditya
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Old 30th August 2012, 18:54   #8
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Default Re: My Architecture Thesis : Factory + Showroom

VV-Audi Offers a similar experience for customers in Germany. When you book your car you have the option to pick your car up at the factory. On the delivery date you go to a customer centre in the factory, instead of going to the nearest showroom. There may not be a comprehensive plant tour but the customer centre would provide glimpses of the main manufacturing processes. There would also be a store selling branded merchandise. I really wanted to opt for this but there was some contractual obligation with the leasing firm which made this a bit of a bother to accomplish.

I am pretty sure that BMW and Mercedes also offer something similar in Germany. But then again the actual sales & service process is still linked to sales outlets across the country.

A factory + Sales \ service outlet could work in the context of a specialist manufacturer producing cars in small volumes. For a large manufacturing facility the current set with sales and distribution networks is certainly more feasible.

However you could think of applying the VW-Audi pick up concept in an Indian context - say at a TML or Mahindra facility.

Will you be allowed access to a manufacturing facility in India ? Well for all you know TML, M&M, MSIL, Ford, Hyundai etc may offer 'customer days' where current owners or enthusiasts are given access to the factory. I do not know - just thinking out loud.
I would encourage you to make a power point presentation about your concept and send it to some OEM PR folks. This ppt could also come in handy for other discussions related to your project. Remember selling a concept can sometimes be more challenging than coming up with it. So don't be disappointed if the first few doors that you knock do not open. I wish you luck.
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Old 30th August 2012, 21:25   #9
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Default Re: My Architecture Thesis : Factory + Showroom

Nice concept. I have seen custom motorcycle makers like OCC have showrooms integrated to their factory but not sure if any car maker has this. I do remember seeing a program in Discovery Turbo wherein BMW or Ferrari (don't remember) gives you an option to take delivery directly from the showroom at an extra cost. Good luck with your research.
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Old 30th August 2012, 21:35   #10
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Default Re: My Architecture Thesis : Factory + Showroom

Just for clarity and reference you can check some of the layouts on google image search.

https://www.google.co.in/search?q=ca...w=1280&bih=709

This along with pictorial factory tours on the TBHP will let you finalize a layout of your choice. As said by someone else, focus on 'green design approach' like more use of natural lights, solar panels, environment friendly paint booth, greenery all around (including the shop floor).

You can watch Nat Geo documentaries (Mega Factories) to have more Idea.




Last edited by Blow Horn Ok : 30th August 2012 at 21:37.
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Old 3rd September 2012, 00:31   #11
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Smile Re: My Architecture Thesis : Factory + Showroom

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zed View Post
VV-Audi Offers a similar experience for customers in Germany. When you book your car you have the option to pick your car up at the factory. On the delivery date you go to a customer centre in the factory, instead of going to the nearest showroom. There may not be a comprehensive plant tour but the customer centre would provide glimpses of the main manufacturing processes. There would also be a store selling branded merchandise. I really wanted to opt for this but there was some contractual obligation with the leasing firm which made this a bit of a bother to accomplish.

I am pretty sure that BMW and Mercedes also offer something similar in Germany. But then again the actual sales & service process is still linked to sales outlets across the country.

A factory + Sales \ service outlet could work in the context of a specialist manufacturer producing cars in small volumes. For a large manufacturing facility the current set with sales and distribution networks is certainly more feasible.

However you could think of applying the VW-Audi pick up concept in an Indian context - say at a TML or Mahindra facility.

Will you be allowed access to a manufacturing facility in India ? Well for all you know TML, M&M, MSIL, Ford, Hyundai etc may offer 'customer days' where current owners or enthusiasts are given access to the factory. I do not know - just thinking out loud.
I would encourage you to make a power point presentation about your concept and send it to some OEM PR folks. This ppt could also come in handy for other discussions related to your project. Remember selling a concept can sometimes be more challenging than coming up with it. So don't be disappointed if the first few doors that you knock do not open. I wish you luck.
Thanks a lot for your suggestions. I can surely make the presentations and send to the PR guys. If that works out then I guess everything would work out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
Nice concept. I have seen custom motorcycle makers like OCC have showrooms integrated to their factory but not sure if any car maker has this. I do remember seeing a program in Discovery Turbo wherein BMW or Ferrari (don't remember) gives you an option to take delivery directly from the showroom at an extra cost. Good luck with your research.
Thanks a lot. Yes, BMW gives this option in germany to pick the vehicle up directly from the factory at an extra cost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blow Horn Ok View Post
Just for clarity and reference you can check some of the layouts on google image search.

https://www.google.co.in/search?q=ca...w=1280&bih=709

This along with pictorial factory tours on the TBHP will let you finalize a layout of your choice. As said by someone else, focus on 'green design approach' like more use of natural lights, solar panels, environment friendly paint booth, greenery all around (including the shop floor).

You can watch Nat Geo documentaries (Mega Factories) to have more Idea.
Thank you and yes i have seen these documentaries. And as you said, my main aim is to design a " Green Building ".

Regards

Aditya

Last edited by Rehaan : 3rd September 2012 at 20:30. Reason: Shortening quote
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Old 4th September 2012, 14:54   #12
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Default Re: My Architecture Thesis : Factory + Showroom

Aditya,
See the idea might sound nicer, but the complexity are not related to the sales etc.

The issues manufacturers would not have showrooms especially in case of Car makers is because of the following reasons:

1. Think as a buyer, we would all prefer to buy in a showroom run by manufacturers (just like how we do with petrol). Which would mean other dealers will run out of business. And they will object manufacturers doing this.
2. I know you must have thought this is practical seeing Sony, Samsung showrooms in major cities. But these are actually run by different departments not by the respective manufacturing units.
3. Manufacturing is not necessarily as transparent process like Service. car makers are OK with customers snooping around during service, cos its your car they are handling.
But some potential customer snooping around manufacturing facility is a nuisance for which manufacturing managers will surely resent. Its a huge potential safety hazard for manufacturing facility. Imagine Maruti's unit produces more than a car a minute, some kind of issue by someone running around will mean lose of 5 minuts would translate to loss of 5 cars. No way they will allow that to happen.

So the actual reasons you dont see them happening in reality is because there are political implication with dealers and safety implications.
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Old 5th September 2012, 16:53   #13
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Default Re: My Architecture Thesis : Factory + Showroom

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VV-Audi Offers a similar experience for customers in Germany....
Adding to what Zed has mentioned earlier, the VW facility is simply awesome when it comes to brand-building. You get to see the complete range of the VW group. The factory & the showrooms are not connected though. Each brand has a separate building and the factory is located across a small canal. You can opt for a guided tour of the factory. If you purchase a VW brand, then the tour comes free else there is an entry fee.

Many people book their cars from other showrooms and then take delivery at the factory outlet. It becomes more like a picnic for the family.

The official site:
http://www.autostadt.de/en/
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Old 5th September 2012, 17:29   #14
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Default Re: My Architecture Thesis : Factory + Showroom

BMW also had (maybe they still) something similar in the U.S. You go to Germany, buy the car, explore Europe in your very own car and then they will ship that car to U.S. (My friend used this and I couldn't)
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Old 6th September 2012, 10:53   #15
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Default Re: My Architecture Thesis : Factory + Showroom

You have got a nice idea. Build on it.

Few things that come to my mind.
1. As suggested by Rehaan, overhead walkway is a good idea but it would put additional burden of keeping the shopfloor clean and presentable.
2. You could show sections of the manufacturing that wow's customer. Robotic welding/ painting etc and tuck away the greasy ones at the back.
3. An over the top idea would be driving away the car that has just got off the production line!

The other day, they were showing how a Veyron is manufactured, the car is built all over Europe but put together in France. That final assembly process is every petroheads wet dream. Do have a look into it.

Last edited by mac187 : 6th September 2012 at 10:54.
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