Project Details


Sonic Automotive


Thornton, CO


55,000 square feet

Sonic Automotive wanted to develop a new kind of used car sales experience, one that defied car buyers’ expectations and created customers for life. With that goal in mind, the design team was tasked with creating a game-changing prototype design that came to be called EchoPark, with the first stores rolling out in the greater Denver metropolitan region.

Focused on a creating a relevant and scalable solution, the design team conceived EchoPark around the modern customer – sophisticated, connected and technologically savvy. The design puts the user in control, from the intuitive layout of the store to interactive digital elements that let customers direct and decide the pace of their car buying experience.

As counterpoint to the typical, often stressful used car sales experience, EchoPark’s design uses color, texture, lighting and views to the exterior to evoke a calm, residential feeling and put users at ease. The building design and layout create clear sightlines between spaces to help guests navigate the store intuitively. High-transparency glass curtain walls allow wide-open views between inside and outside, and between the service shop and customer lounge — a physical expression of the honesty and transparency on which EchoPark’s brand and business model are based.

Sustainability was a focus of the project from the start, from developing a more community-centric retail concept to the specifics of material selection, lighting, and site amenities. From an efficiency standpoint, the Hub is designed to reduce energy use by 36% and water use by more than 30% compared to baseline standards. Systems are controlled by a Building Automation System to ensure the building operates at its greatest efficiency in terms of both occupant comfort and energy use.