The owners of Opequon Motors, a successful auto dealership in Martinsburg, West Virginia, came to Helbing Lipp Recny Architects and asked them to design the renovation of their existing facility. This renovation would bring the tired building into compliance with General Motors’ nationwide program to upgrade their facilities to 21st century standards.
Working closely with the General Motors designers, a plans was developed to gut and rebuild the existing dealership while the service department remained in place. The existing building was actually two old side-by-side stores. This created a structural challenge to replace bearing walls with clear span beams, which was required to create the new showroom that would extend across the entire front of the building.
The exterior was re-skinned with architectural metal panels highlighted by an arched entry element common to the new Buick dealerships. The new spaces included the showroom, offices and restrooms as well as a large and inviting customer service lounge area. High-end materials and lighting were used to enhance the customer’s experience and a separate glass-enclosed space was added for a new car delivery space.