Tesla Motors, maker of the world’s most advanced electric car, has opened its flagship Los Angeles location, featuring architecture by CCS Architecture, in May of 2008. Like Tesla’s electric sports cars, the store design emphasizes style, efficiency and performance. The Tesla Store is located on Santa Monica Blvd. in the Westwood neighborhood, one block east of Interstate 405.
The Los Angeles location is housed in a pair of upcycled buildings, which CCS has merged to create an efficient, gallery-like setting for showing and servicing the cars. “The cars are beautiful, so the showroom is set up to be a boutique experience, where the intended rawness of the space counterpoints the sleek refinement of the cars. It’s like sculpture in a gallery,” says Smith.
Atypical of car dealerships, the design unifies the showroom and service areas, making the service process fully transparent to guests as well as passersby on Santa Monica Blvd. With an electric car, there is no noxious smoke, no puddle of oil or gasoline, and no loud engine. The Tesla mechanic, like a chef in an open kitchen, has nothing to hide.