When Co-op Motors moved out of the CBD of Hobart, in 1991, to the top end of Argyle Street, the common thought amongst the car sales sector was ‘what on earth are they doing!’. However it was not without precedence. Co-Operative Motors founding directors took a gamble in 1916 and built Hobart’s first purpose designed car showroom, assembly and services detailing facility (with a ‘ladies lounge’) at 131 Collins Street.
The Managing Director (1915) ‘felt sure the best way to sell cars was to show them’. (In Excellent Condition Throughout, Cooperative Motors 1913-2013, author Caroline Evans, 2013).
In 2013 TPA+i was engaged to update the Argyle Street showroom as a contemporary sales facility to celebrate Co-op Motors centenary.
The design remodeled the existing façade, in the spirit of the founding directors, incorporating aluminum blades for energy and environmental control, cantilevered pre-finished aluminum panels and high performance glazing, for car ‘showing’ and energy sustainability.
The project was successfully undertaken by Hutchinson Builders. It was built within a very tight timeframe, with the added complexity of Co-op Toyota continuing trading, whilst undergoing construction.
History has shown Co-op to be Car Industry Leaders and Innovators. TPA+i are proud to have assisted, in a small way, Co-op Motors move forward into their second century of car sales and servicing and we watch with interest their next move.