Mills Auto Center

Willmar, MN

The Mills Auto Center successfully combines the design standards of three distinct brands—Toyota, GM, and Nissan—with the client’s desire for a high-performance, energy-efficient facility. The orientation and architecture of this dealership takes advantage of the site’s location at the junction of two major highways. Large curtainwalls face these thoroughfares, and a curved showroom entryway unites the two facades. Modest yet elegant, the 51,702 sq.ft. facility serves as a backdrop for product display and customer service. The showroom floor extends outside to the raised exterior concourse, displaying vehicles in a relaxed, sophisticated manner. The precast concrete of the auto service shop and parts warehouse is finished with exposed aggregate in a ribbed pattern, complementing the central showroom curtainwall construction. Sustainable design elements include flooding the service area in natural light, capitalizing on waste oil as a fuel source for the radiant heat system, installing efficient plumbing fixtures, and utilizing LED technology for artificial light.