BMW Brings Creative Space Effort To N.Y.C.

BMW's Mini division will extend its international "Creative Use of Space" campaign, touting the brand and the latest addition to the portfolio--the Clubman--with a series of events on a New York City rooftop. The happening will take place on a roof space in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood that combines a club atmosphere with performance studio, health spa and art space.

The space--which includes a fabricated grassy knoll with seating "dimples," performance stage, movement area and bar that overlooks the Hudson River--will host fashion events, music performances, DJ gear, competitions and even yoga classes. It was designed by New York-based architecture firm HWKN.

Mini Rooftop NYC--mostly open to the public during its ten days starting September 4--launches with a performance by the band MGMT, sponsored by style magazine Dazed and Confused.

The company is promoting the space online at has a MySpace feel to it, complete with videos, various articles and registration for competitions. DJs can vie for an opportunity to perform on the roof, and arts-inclined consumers can submit graphic arts themes for a chance to have their designs on the roofs of Mini Clubman cars to be used as shuttles.



The best proposals uploaded to between August 7th and August 29th, 2008 will be printed on the rooftops of all the MINI Clubman shuttles.

Mini is one of several car companies that have established branded clubs and designer environments in New York in recent years to pitch their cars as lifestyle brands. Land Rover, Nissan's Infiniti brand and Toyota's Lexus brand have hosted branded club-like "Pop-up" spaces in the city in recent years. And Audi has something of a permanent installation--one of six international spaces called "Audi Forum"--at 47th and Park Avenue in a former dealership. In 2006, the company used the space to debut the R8 supercar with the Forum as the terminus for a parade down Park Avenue.

BMW's Mini division has done well this year--perhaps not surprising, given the booming market for small cars. The company, which sold 6,000 of the Clubman cars year-to-date through July in the U.S., sold 5,063 automobiles in the U.S. last month--a 24.4% increase versus the same month last year. Year-to-date, the division reports total sales of 31,463 automobiles in the U.S., an increase of 32%.

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