American architect Eric Carlson brings what it means to be an auto aficionado to a whole different league.
Whether it’s James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 or Drake’s Mercedes- Maybach 6 Coupe, most of us have indulged in the fantasy of owning our dream car. But, if we had our dream car, wouldn’t that mean that we would need a safe place to park it?
That’s where Eric Carlson comes in. Carlson is the brainchild behind some of the most luxurious architectural gems in the world. Working from his Paris-based studio CARBONDALE, he creates spaces for those looking to live in the lap of luxury. Just as every bottle of Romanée-Conti is stored in a state-of-the-art wine cellar, and every Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime is waiting to be spun by an up-to-the-minute watch-winder, dream cars need to be stored in homes that reflect their beauty — particularly when they are set in park 95 per cent of the time.
As a renowned expert in luxury architecture worldwide, Carlson has designed museums, office headquarters, private residences and most notably the flagship stores of some of the world’s finest brands, including Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, Paspaley and BMW — just to name a few.
His latest concept? A dream garage for the ultra-high-net worth in Monaco, estimated at a cost to build of US$16 million. His concept, called “Garage-8,” derived from its looping shape, goes beyond satisfying the most avid car and garage enthusiast. “I imagined Garage-8 on a cliff site in Monaco, with direct access to one of the most famous Formula 1 racetracks and adjacent to diverse driving experiences on city streets, coastal roads and circuitous mountain drives,” says Carlson.
Taking inspiration from the showroom and museums that Carlson has designed for BMW in Paris, London and New York, he integrated continuous lines of diffused lighting in his newest concept to create “swage lines” that highlight the contours and curves of the car bodies.
“IT IS DESIGNED [GARAGE-8] SO THAT EACH AUTOMOBILE CAN BE ADMIRED WHEN [ITS OWNER IS] EATING, SLEEPING, BATHING, SWIMMING, JOGGING AND PRACTISING THEIR GOLF SWING”
The top-tier garage is strategically designed to maximize the visibility of the cars that are parked inside. With the car collection placed at the centre of the house, it is surrounded between levels made up of glass floors: “It [Garage-8] is designed so that each automobile can be admired when [its owner is] eating, sleeping, bathing, swimming, jogging and practising their golf swing. Even when dressing, they can choose their clothes, shoes, watches, cufflinks and jewelry, and, of course, the car that goes with them.” It’s like being able to observe a fish in a fishbowl, but much more alluring.
Fit for Bond woman or Bond-like gentleman, Garage-8 is the ideal way for car addicts to seamlessly integrate automobiles into every part of their lives, making each aspect an exceptional experience. If you’re still working on purchasing your dream car down the road, Carlson’s concept is something to keep in mind. Just like its name, Garage-8, the looping figure eight, is a numerical representation of what our dreams can be: infinite and always shifting gears.