Metron Garage - The Intersection of Architecture, Art & Automobiles
When Timothy Hogue spotted the trend early on for how the luxury garage would evolve, he instinctively knew what the market of auto enthusiasts and car collectors would demand. They’re many of the same things that move him. And it all starts with design.
“Design moves people,” says Hogue. “I see this everywhere: in the lines of a car that create simultaneous flow and tension, in the brushstrokes of a painting, and in the interplay of structure and space in architecture.”
Hogue majored in Architectural Design and Commercial Art, minoring in Fine Art and Business at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, KY., home of the Corvette.
At his core, Hogue is a genuine gear head. He’s also a craftsman, a CEO and an artist. In his spare time, he creates automotive artwork using both digital tools and acrylic paint on canvas. If he puts down the paintbrush on the weekend, you might find him scouring out another watch to add to his collection.
“I love and collect older TAG Heuer Chronographs, as well as Rolex Daytona and Rolex Submariner watches,” says Hogue. “I love the concept of time. It’s so valuable. We never have enough of it.”
And in a world that has recently made us slow down and reflect on what’s most important, a garage has taken on even more purpose as it provides a place nearby to spend time with friends and family, admire a car collection, double as a home office or provide space for a simple getaway or social gathering.
No longer an architectural afterthought, the private home garage is establishing itself as a standalone building, providing another layer of security and space for both cars and drivers.
Traditional two- and three-bay garages are cramped on space, while larger attached garages can sometimes start to resemble an obtuse bolt-on to an otherwise sophisticated, well-designed home.
“And with all due respect to collectors and where they store their vehicles: some car collections just don’t belong in a barn,” says Hogue. “We use materials far superior in strength and durability to protect such important investments from fire, winds, rain and other elements while providing a comfortable social space for life’s finer comforts.”
Seeing the need for a company to provide this next level garage, in 2015 Hogue launched a new company at the intersection of architecture, art and automobiles to meet the demand.
Hogue recalls: “I was smoking a good cigar and sitting beside my favorite car in my traditional garage. The more I did that, the more it took me back to being a young man working in my grandfather’s garage, building engines and cars.”
For Hogue, those were hours well spent, providing time for great discussions, observations, contemplation and life lessons learned from his dad and grandfather. He took many lessons from those sessions and applies them now to the way he lives and runs his companies.
Hogue’s company Metron Garage is a sister organization to one of Hogue’s other long-established brands. For decades his team has designed and fabricated all types of structures including commercial office space, industrial buildings, carwashes, convenience stores and custom homes.
He’s applying that expertise to Metron, which designs and customizes the garages, and also pre-engineers the frames and materials to be used during the build. They use the same super-strong tubular steel framework and materials, with a powder-coated frame system somewhat unique in the construction industry.
With certain guidelines followed, it allows many customers to take advantage of tax benefits through accelerated depreciation, while getting a commercially strong building that can stand the test of time. Auto dealerships and motorsports parks across the country have recently learned about Metron and are signaling interest in using the structures for other creative commercial use.
“The recycled steel we use is sourced only in North America,” explains Hogue. “The refinement in the recycling process removes impurities, making the steel even stronger than the original.”
The North American steel, created with the highest specifications of anywhere in the world, lets Metron’s designs hold even more weight and accomplish greater design spans with an exposed beam look, which references a popular look typically accomplished with timber frames.
Second stories are often part of the designs the clients demand today. An elevated level provides even more creative ways use the space. Plus it’s an angle of automobiles you don’t see every day. A garage is no longer for the cars. It’s for the people. It’s for life.
Clients are also now asking for solar power installations, electric vehicle charging stations, even car elevators to bring a vehicle up a floor. The sky’s the limit with the design.
That goes for the interior and exterior finishes for siding, floor, roofing and ceiling. Wood panel, aluminum composite cladding, fiber cement, stonework and drywall are all options for finishing out a space.
At the end of the day, taste is highly subjective. At the same time, there are some timeless elements of design that shine through in a project done well.
And these days, the ability to make the space and time to simply sit and contemplate the items you love is where Hogue finds himself drawn to more and more.
Hogue sums it up this way: “You learn about yourself. And you learn what sort of beauty in this world drives you.”