LRS Architects designs Ron Tonkin Toyota and Mazda building

Posted on 11 April 2012 by admin

LRS Architects designs Ron Tonkin Toyota and Mazda building

Ron Tonkin Toyota and Mazda

Rendering courtesy of LRS Architects

POSTED: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 01:56 PM PT
BY: Reed Jackson

With the economy improving slowly, many metro-area auto dealerships are turning to LRS Architects for facility remodels; in fact, the firm is presently designing 11. One is a $5.6 million project for the Ron Tonkin Toyota and Mazda building in Southeast Portland.

Danny Drake, project manager at LRS, said the building presents a unique set of challenges because it will accommodate more than one car manufacturer.

“The challenge is working with the owners and balancing the way they work their businesses with the manufacturers and what they want to see with their brand,” he said. “Mazda is a little more open and edgy, while Toyota wants a more relaxed experience.”

For the “edgy” aesthetic, Drake said the firm gave the Mazda half of the 66,000-square-foot facility bright colors and more metal on finishes. He said the Toyota half will have more traditional finishes and a sweeping portal wall to invite and direct customers into the sale or service areas.

Both franchises will be reconfigured to provide an open interior that connects the sales and services area. All the finishes in the building – including the accent ceilings, metal panels and the floor tile – will be replaced.

“The economy is picking up and there are better demands for certain models, so the owners want to provide the customers with a better experience,” Drake said.

Outside of the building, the existing canopy will be replaced, a new portal entry to the Toyota side will be installed and a two-story jewel box display for Mazda’s side will be added. To meet city design requirements, the streetscape area in front of the building is designed to be more pedestrian and biker friendly, with wider sidewalks and more trees. Stormwater infiltration planters will be used throughout the property to lessen the impact on the city’s systems, and the floors of the showrooms will be made of 95 percent recyclable material.

The project is in phase one of construction and is expected to finish late this year.

“On the Boards” is a weekly feature that spotlights local firms’ best design work. Submissions from architectural and engineering firms are encouraged. Please call 503-802-7240 or email

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