Classic cars in their best possible light
In 2016, Mazda Australia officially opened its impressive new headquarters in Mulgrave, a southeastern suburb of Melbourne. Having been at its previous site (also in Mulgrave) since 2001 – and having increased sales significantly in those intervening years – the move represented an upgrade.
In addition to the required office space, the new facility also includes a large showroom in which some of the automaker’s most prized possessions – a collection of iconic vehicles including classic MX-5 NA and NB, RX- 7 and a vintage Capella – are displayed.
The move received a lot of publicity at the time and appeared to be a great success. However, some time later in 2019, a problem arose at the new headquarters.
Pino Alessi, Managing Director of Alessi Design Group, a blind retailer and reseller of Verosol products, picks up the story: “Mazda contacted us to say that they were having major heat and glare issues in their bathroom. ‘exhibition,’ he explained. “The glass windows that make up the entire facade of the showroom were simply generating too much heat.”
Eager to put his best foot forward, Alessi offered three possible solutions. “We gave Mazda the choice of metallic screen fabric, plain screen fabric and blocking fabric. The first two options received a thumbs down. The blackout fabric didn’t work as it completely darkened the space, while the standard screen provided only 30-35% heat reduction,” he said.
The metallic option, or more specifically the roller blinds with Verosol’s 205 SilverScreen Performance fabric, remained the only possibility. A quick test of the product generated immediate optimism.
“We placed the two screen fabrics side by side. When Mazda makers tried out the SilverScreen shade, they were amazed at the difference between standing behind and the ordinary screen. It was so clear.
To quantify this difference, the blind carrying the SilverScreen 205 offers a reduction in heat and glare of 70-75%. Comparing that with the 30-35% of alternative hardware, there really was no competition.
Automation and optimization
From that point on, the only decision left was whether to choose between manual or automated blinds. After hearing from those gathered that heat and glare issues were at their worst in the morning, during those first four or five hours of operation, Alessi recommended motorized and automated blinds for Mazda Australia’s facilities.
“I proposed a fully automated Somfy system with a timer, which can either control the blinds in groups of three, or link them together and operate them as a group. This way the blinds are optimized and able to operate as efficiently as possible,” he said.
Today, roller shutters with Verosol’s 205 SilverScreen Performance fabric cover all the forward-facing windows in Mazda Australia’s Mulgrave showroom. Each at 4.2m in overall length and featuring a black finish on one side and a metallic finish that takes on a soft gray look on the other, they make an attractive addition to the building.
By keeping temperatures mild, while allowing an unobstructed view of the exterior of the building, they did exactly what they were supposed to do. They solved Mazda Australia’s heat and glare issues and helped the company showcase its classic vehicles in the best possible light.