Specialist Spotlight: Gerrit Timmerman, AIA


Negotiating the Best Design for Utah’s Automotive Dealerships


Gerrit Timmerman, AIA is a Principal at Curtis Miner Architecture.

CMA’s experience in the automotive world started small. We worked on several gas stations, convenience stores and automotive repair shops before the door opened to larger projects; in 2010 CMA designed our first dealership, Larry H. Miller Ford/Lincoln in Provo. It was during that project that Gerrit developed his interest in Utah automotive dealership design. He subsequently worked back-to-back on nearly a dozen dealerships for Ken Garff Automotive Group.

Today, Gerrit is lead Principal of the automotive team, acting as the main client contact and managing a small group of project architects and project managers at CMA who have expertise in the design of automotive dealerships. Together, they have helped CMA become a staple in the local automotive industry.

For Gerrit, the challenge in this project type lies in learning and negotiating each stakeholder’s needs. Each manufacturer has specific requirements for imaging and branding; each employs a national architect to ensure all branding and imaging is accurate. In addition, the local dealer, who sells the vehicles, has their own set of concerns and limitations.

Gerrit, a thoughtful and genial personality, relishes the challenge. “We really try to get in and understand the needs of the local dealer, as well as the priorities of the manufacturer. We use that information to negotiate the best design for everyone involved,” he said. For example, CMA worked with the stakeholders of the Porsche Audi dealership to help save tens of thousands of dollars by implementing a colored block detail rather than a metal panel of the same color, meeting both brand and budgetary requirements.

The Porsche Audi luxury showroom is Gerrit’s most memorable project, largely because CMA’s automotive team worked together to exceed expectations. “The Porsche Audi dealership was so unique.” he explains. “There were two manufacturers, and both had great design features and unique exterior materials that made this project challenging, exciting, and successful.”