Most of us, unless we're lucky enough to already own one, dream of an ideal home. For some it's an architectural masterpiece, for others it may be an exotic villa, a sprawling, multi-room mansion, or an exclusive New York condo. And then there are the car enthusiasts who dream of a very special garage where they can either show off or hide their magnificent toys.
Early last year I produced a blog about garages as architecture, buildings as spectacular as the vehicles inside. I opened with the comment "Perhaps someone should write a book about residential garage design."
Now someone has, though the garages are located in Germany and are not so much statements on design as they are of the owner's personalities. The publisher is Fritz Books, the title is "Dream Garage," or at least that's how it translates, for the text is entirely in German. Not to worry; if you view it online Google instantly provides an English translation. Of sorts. The building up top is the book's cover photo, which the owner describes as a "dream garage in the country." His only desire was that it be comfortable, a rural idyll for an old Alfa Romeo, a Bugatti, and several Lanz tractors.
Peter Wolf specialises in collecting French and English cars. Apparently Peter wanted to have all his cars in one place, yet close to the city where he lives. His solution was to move to a farm. Like the Dream Garage on the book's cover, this garage could only be in Germany.
I've worked with a number of advertising photographers in Europe and North America and I was aware that some were exceedingly well-paid. And I knew that they lived well, but not this well! Apparently this "garage" contains only a small part of Heiko Seekamp's collection. (I do like the fact that he keeps every car in ready-to-drive condition.)
The gentleman who owns such a unique collection of Mercedes-Benz automobiles is not likely to risk housing them in an old barn, no matter how charming it may be. Instead he's chosen a modern architectural setting. Airy and open, it enhances the cars rather than competing with them.
Imagine coming home in your classic Deux Chevaux. You stop on the paving stones at the entry, under a structure that we wouldn't dare call a carport. With a touch of a button, the driveway underneath becomes an elevator. You and your car descend to an underground garage hidden from view. In more ways than one, you've arrived!
[Thanks to contributor Nigel Matthews for this tip.]