Ferrari, Old Brompton Road Knightsbridge, London (HR Owen Sports Cars)

Project Overview

Located in the heart of Knightsbridge along Old Brompton Road, HR Owen Sports Cars Ferrari dealership is taking advantage of the latest technical advances in glass, to create the ultimate client experience.

The installation of the most advanced and largest switchable privacy glass on the market, Polyvision™ Privacy Glass, in panel sizes up to 1400mm x 2800 mm, and low-iron grey tinted glass partitioning has transformed the look of the dealership whilst enhancing the delivery of a personalised service.

Switchable Privacy Glass used in Ferrari Showcase

Project Description

Privacy at the flick of a switch:

Following the design brief to make a striking feature of the centralised car lift, which is typically used to showcase a Ferrari to its owner for the very first time, Polyvision™, was a natural choice.

The trademark protected glass cleverly incorporates a PDLC film encapsulated between 2 or more glass sheets. Using a minute electrical current, dealership staff can immediately switch the glass from clear to private (opaque) and vice versa. When the electrical supply is switched on, liquid crystal molecules align allowing incidental light to pass through, making the glass optically clear. A supplier designed a bespoke electrical system for the project which incorporates both wireless switches and remote controls for the centralised car lift.

Switchable Privacy Glass used in Ferrari Showcase

It is quite literally a modern-day take on the red-ribbon, which is designed to add suspense and excitement to the unveiling of any new Ferrari.

Staff at the Ferrari dealership carefully positions the car onto the lift on the lower level and when ready for viewing it is elevated to the ground floor showroom where it sits behind the privacy glass in its opaque setting. At the flick of a switch, the grand unveiling is achieved.

Switchable Privacy Glass used in Ferrari Showcase

In designing the layout of the new showroom, it was essential that there was a clearly defined area where clients are able to individually personalise their Ferrari with a dedicated member of staff. Known as the configuration room, clients walk through an opening in the stunning grey-tinted toughened glass to finalise their ‘purchasing journey’.

Given the striking effect of the tinted glass, it has also been used to separate the showroom from the office area, with a 15mm clear version of the glass being used for the showroom windows.

Care in design and manufacturing

As the leading ‘total glass solutions’ provider in the UK, ESG, were chosen as the preferred manufacturer for a number of reasons. Polyvision™ Privacy Glass is the largest privacy glass on the UK market and due to its engineering flexibility is considered to be the leading switchable glass on the market.

ESG are renowned for their fast turnaround times on their wide range of technical and processed glass – which is wholly manufactured in the UK. Crucially for the motor industry, Polyvision™ Privacy Glass and tinted toughened glass, meet the high level of craftsmanship commensurate with high value brands.

With all the necessary third-party certification in place, everyone within the supply chain of the glass is protected, and most importantly, the client can feel safe in the knowledge that the product will perform.


Glass manufacturer: ESG, Witham, UK
Architect: Eades Hotwani Wilkinson Partnership, London, UK.

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