McLaren Technology Centre

 

The TAG McLaren Group is a collection of high-tech companies involved in the design 
and development of Formula One cars, high-performance road cars, electronic 
systems and composite materials. Since McLaren began competing in Formula One in 
1966, it has established a global reputation as one of the most successful teams in 
the history of the sport. The Technology Centre provides a headquarters for the 
group’s 850 staff and is designed to reflect the company’s design and engineering 
expertise. It includes design studios, laboratories and testing and production facilities 
for Formula One and road cars, including the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren. 
Viewed on plan, the building is roughly semi-circular, the circle being completed by a 
formal lake, which forms an integral part of the building’s environmental cooling 
system. The principal lakeside facade is a continuous curved glass wall, developed in 
part using McLaren’s own technological expertise, which is shaded by a cantilevered 
roof. Internally, the building is organised around double-height linear ‘streets’, which 
form circulation routes and articulate ‘fingers’ of flexible accommodation. These house 
production and storage areas on the lower levels, with top-lit design studios, offices 
and meeting rooms above. Directly behind the facade is a circulation ‘boulevard’ which 
leads to areas for hospitality and to the staff restaurant, both of which look out across 
the landscape. Other social facilities include a swimming pool and a fitness centre. 
A Visitor Centre with educational facilities is located in a separate building at the 
entrance to the complex. This two-storey structure is buried underground − like the 
rest of the Technology Centre it is designed to make a minimal intervention in the 
landscape − and is visible only by its circular rooflight. It houses a temporary exhibition 
space and lecture theatre and is linked to the main centre by a subterranean building 
with a permanent display of McLaren’s historical racing and road cars. 
 
description by architects

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