Al a Car – dine with your wheels

If you’re uber rich, chances are you’re probably already dining, living and sleeping with your car. Melbourne architect and car aficionado Taras Wolf from Wolf Architects – who has been a classic Mercedes enthusiast since his youth – discusses how the growing demand for supercar capsules, luxury man caves and below the ground warehouses – is starting to move into the mainstream.

The global luxury car market is growing at an exponential rate, and is predicted to hit $650 billion by 2027, according to latest industry forecasts.

And according to Melbourne architect Taras Wolf, (whose well-heeled clients include founder of $350m Boost Juice empire Janine Allis), there is a growing trend for people to cohabit with their cars.

“I originally got the idea for moving my classic Mercedes into the family dining room after living in the suburbs in a big warehouse,” says Wolf.

“My cars lived with me there so I really wanted to do this again, and it also meant I could watch my children play while I was tinkering with my car, and occasionally they would join me to learn about the car.

“Yes there were grubby fingers all over the windows but it was such a pleasurable experience seeing my children enjoy what I had enjoyed so much with my father’s cars.”
Taras says the trend for sky garages globally, has taken parking to the next level.

In 2018, luxury condos incorporated with “sky garages” such as Porsche Tower in Miami, were selling for between $6m to $32m.

And one of the most popular features was the owner and car being whizzed up from the street to their apartment floor in under 75 seconds.

Tap on the phone elevator and you can even pick up your car!

In Colorado recently, a luxury apartment went to market for $20m – made to look like the Playboy Mansion with undercover parking for 100 cars.

The garage even has its own bathroom should people want to spend extra time with their precious vehicles.

However Wolf says the trend was moving away from the uber rich and into the mainstream.

“Although we do luxury homes as well, the majority of our work is based on builds of $1.5m to $3m.

“I see underground car garages as definitely going to be a trend in coming years as people can straight away see the practical advantages of “extra” parking.

“In Melbourne, narrow blocks can be challenging. Without crossovers already present, council permission has to be sought for parking and this is tedious.

“The reward of bringing a block of land a new crossover, and giving the homeowners an opportunity to park under cover in a very stylish way is an invaluable way to add value to your home.”

“There are also very practical considerations too. When people are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on cars they don’t want to be driving in circles or worrying about the scratches and dings of street parking.”

Wolf says this is just one of the many ways luxury carmakers are partnering with architects and designers to extend customers’ automotive love outside their vehicles.

“When we think about creating a car space we consider the groceries that need to be brought in, the sports bag that children carry, and how to avoid dashing out in the roads and street congestion in the rain.

“One of the world’s most influential architects Corbusier once famously said that ‘a home should be a machine for living’.

“A century later, and the old adage could not be truer, as our homes become the epicentre of all our mechanical passions. Many people see their cars as much more than just a vehicle, and are happy for it to be integral to the design of the house.”

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