Porsche Centre Xi’an Chanba: Luxury meets tradition in a

In October last year, the German automaker Porsche unveiled the 150th Porsche Centre in the heart of the Chanba Ecological Zone in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, China.  The avant-garde retail space, designed in collaboration with global design powerhouse Gensler, not only introduces a futuristic concept to automotive retail but also sets a new benchmark in sustainability and cultural integration. The Porsche Centre Xi’an Chanba offers a harmonious blend of Eastern and Western aesthetics,

etics, seamlessly combining the contemporary elegance of Porsche with the rich cultural traditions of Xi’an. 

Spanning nearly 10,000sqm, the showroom accommodates up to 16 Porsche models, showcasing the brand’s full range. 

Beyond its extensive display area, the Centre features a state-of-the-art after-sales workshop with 22 work bays, ensuring that every Porsche undergoes meticulous care by an experienced and professional service team. 

What truly sets the Porsche Centre Xi’an Chanba apart is its dedication to local cultural integration. Gensler’s design team, inspired by the historical significance of Xi’an, seamlessly wove traditional Chinese aesthetics into the contemporary Porsche style. 

A testament to this integration is the stairwell design, influenced by the iconic Terracotta Warriors of Xi’an, forming a mosaic that spells out the city’s name in Chinese characters.

In an exclusive interview with Inside Retail, Michael Ramsey, vice president of omnichannel management and development at  Porsche China shared the vision behind this innovative project.

Form and function

According to Ramsey, the new location is the first Porsche Centre in China to integrate local design culture. 

“This philosophy of ‘Porsche Centre for the City’ results in traditional visual elements of Chinese aesthetics being woven into the contemporary Porsche style, creating a harmonious melody of form and function,” he told Inside Retail.

The centre pays homage to the cultural legacy of both Xi’an and Porsche. Areas of hospitality were enriched with art pieces, materials and aesthetics that resonate with the local customer. 

“By accommodating regional tastes, we created a calming and restful sales environment filled with the rich history and art of the ancient capital city of Xi’an. This new approach for site-specific design language has been so successful that we are planning similar initiatives for Porsche Centres in other cities,” he said.

Ramsey added that there are also customised art pieces that reflect the iconic silhouettes of the historic architecture of Xian, design moments which are inspired by Xian’s legacy in Qin calligraphy, and even the iconic deep red that most locals from Xian would recognise. 

“This is not to say that the space is overwhelmed by this aesthetic. We made sure to incorporate strong icons of Porsche throughout all aspects of design,” he noted.

Customer experience and social well-being

Ramsey reiterated that the goal of the new showroom is to convey luxury through exceptional service and design. The brand is targeting both consumers and corporate lifestyles and elevating the traditional auto showroom into a luxury experience focused on wellness and cultural sensitivity.

“For example, the lounge and reception areas are designed with much attention to comfort and look of luxury, ensuring that every Porsche customer can enjoy top-notch hospitality and curated experiences,” he stressed.

Interestingly, the centre also has family spaces for children and parents next to spaces for co-working professionals alongside spaces for the staff to rest and recover through a busy day. 

“Amenities such as a potable water system, nature-friendly greenery, baby care room and barrier-free accessibility, indoor fitness and exercise space with showers, ergonomic desks and chairs, and edible gardens all enhance this lifestyle approach,” he pointed out.

Environmentally sustainable

The centre has intelligent skylight shading systems, acoustic suspended ceilings, eco-friendly LED lighting, solar panels and high-performance exterior facades that reduce its carbon emissions by 185.3 tonnes annually, which is a 47.2 per cent reduction in carbon emissions.

“In the future, Porsche will continue to jointly work with dealer partners to provide luxury products and services, to contribute to a more sustainable future for both Porsche customers and wider society and to foster the development of a humanistic, friendly and healthy environment,” Ramsey said.

Richard Chang, retail practice area leader at Gensler, said the goal of the project was to elevate the customer experience and take the Porsche brand to the next level. 

“Through our collaboration with Gensler, we can draw on their rich experience in diverse retail types for the Chinese consumer market, as well as their many different categories of project expertise such as hospitality and architecture. Together this synergy allows both to excel and create great projects,” he told Inside Retail.

Ultimately, Ramsey believes that the new Porsche Centre embodies the brand’s sustainability focus and people-first values at a retail level.