McLaren Production Centre by Foster + Partners

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McLaren Production Centre by Foster + Partners

Architects Foster + Partners have completed a production centre for British sports car brand McLaren.

McLaren Production Centre by Foster + Partners

The facility has wide spans offering maximum assembly space while the basement is used for storage and machinery and a mezzanine offers a view of the production line.

McLaren Production Centre by Foster + Partners

High-performance sports cars are manufactured, painted and tested on a linear production line that dictated the building's rectilinear form.

McLaren Production Centre by Foster + Partners

The McLaren Technology Centre's curved surfaces and horizontal aluminium cladding reference the existing buildings on the site in Woking near London.

McLaren Production Centre by Foster + Partners

An underground tunnel will link the production centre to the McLaren Technology Centre, which was also designed by Foster + Partners.

McLaren Production Centre by Foster + Partners

Trees screen the building from the nearby road and the whole structure is sunk into the incline of the site, reducing its visual impact on the landscape.

McLaren Production Centre by Foster + Partners

Foster + Partners recently completed another transport facility – the world's first commercial spaceport – and also unveiled a proposal for a massive transport hub in the Thames. See all of our previous stories on Foster + Partners.

McLaren Production Centre by Foster + Partners

All photography is from McLaren. The drawings below are from Foster + Partners.

McLaren Production Centre by Foster + Partners

Here's some more information from Foster + Partners:


McLaren Production Centre by Foster + Partners

The McLaren Production Centre is the second building designed by Foster + Partners at McLaren’s rural site on the outskirts of London. The 34,500-square-metre facility is intended for the manufacture of a range of high-performance road cars and is located to the south-west of the existing McLaren Technology Centre. The two buildings will be connected by a subterranean walkway, lined with interactive exhibition spaces. Sharing a common language of details and materials, the new building is clad in aluminium tubes, the rounded corners of its rectilinear plan reference the curves of the Technology Centre and the entrance, echoing the existing building, is a circular glass drum beneath the overhang of the roof canopy.

McLaren Production Centre by Foster + Partners

The state-of-the-art McLaren Production Centre is located to the south-west of the existing McLaren Technology Centre. The two buildings are connected by a subterranean walkway and share a common language of details and materials. The entrance, echoing the existing building, is a circular glass drum beneath the overhang of the roof canopy.

McLaren Production Centre by Foster + Partners

As a manufacturing facility, the building is inherently flexible, with a wide span between columns and fully integrated services. The linear arrangement of the two-storey structure mirrors the flow of the production line: components are delivered; the cars are assembled, painted and tested, and then pass through a rolling road and car wash, before leaving the building. Beneath this floor there is a full basement level for storage and plant and above is a mezzanine floor with views over the production line. Every stage of production takes place under the same roof. Initially it will take 10 days for an MP4-12C to be assembled; at peak production it will be possible to build one in five days, with a new car joining the line every 45 minutes.

McLaren Production Centre by Foster + Partners

Although the McLaren Production Centre represents a major increase in McLaren’s capabilities at its Woking campus, the building is dug into in the gentle incline of the site, to give it a discreet presence in the landscape. The lower floor is sunk completely below ground and the superstructure is almost invisible from the nearby road, with further screening provided by extensive tree planting.

McLaren Production Centre by Foster + Partners

The new McLaren Production Centre is designed to be environmentally efficient. The roof collects rainwater and has been designed to integrate photovoltaic panels in future; and the building incorporates a low-energy system of displacement ventilation. No soil was removed from the site, and all excavated material has been used to conceal the building within the green-belt landscape.

McLaren Production Centre by Foster + Partners

Lord Foster, Founder and Chairman, Foster + Partners: “The McLaren Production Centre is a further leap forward in the evolution of industrial buildings, both socially and in terms of working conditions and technologically in its flexibility and the sophistication of its services integration. The scale and grandeur of the main hall is a fitting complement to the purity of the McLaren cars, which will emerge from its production line. This project has been a wonderful opportunity to work once again with Ron Dennis, who is a great patron and friend. It is a testament to a fantastic team effort that this production centre was achieved in just twelve months.”

McLaren Production Centre by Foster + Partners

David Nelson, Head of Design at Foster + Partners, said: “It has been great to have the opportunity to build on the success of the Technology Centre by continuing our collaboration with McLaren, particularly our close working relationship with Ron Dennis. The project presented a unique set of challenges, from the constraints of the site to the operational demands of the different processes. McLaren’s work is incredibly precise – in many ways, the production line is like an operating theatre – the architecture reflects this with an industrial building of the highest quality in every detail. As well as drawing on the understanding we gained with the Technology Centre, the Production Centre echoes its minimal aesthetic – visually, they can be seen as a family of buildings, unified by a common language of finishes and a consistent materials palette.”

McLaren Production Centre by Foster + Partners

Nigel Dancey, a design director at Foster + Partners, said: “It is a privilege to design two companion buildings for the same client and it has been a great experience. While the McLaren Technology Centre took six years to design and build, the fast- track programme meant that the McLaren Production Centre was completed in a third of the time. The same team has worked on both buildings and this continuity has helped to make this ambitious timescale possible. We were also able to draw on the wider capabilities of our studio: the McLaren Production Centre is a great example of integrated design, with services built into the structure to create a highly flexible space.”

McLaren Production Centre by Foster + Partners

Click above for larger image 

Iwan Jones, a partner at Foster + Partners, said: “Our intention was to design a new kind of industrial building, which would be an elegant addition to the McLaren Technology Centre. The two buildings are physically connected by a 100-metre- long tunnel and unified by a common architectural language – we established a ‘kit-of-parts’ system for the project, a family of finishes and details. By optimising structural spans to allow a largely clear floor space, we have essentially created a big empty box, with services integrated within the structural zones, wall and floor voids.

McLaren Production Centre by Foster + Partners

Click above for larger image 

This flexible form ensures that the building is also highly cost efficient – it will support McLaren’s production needs today and in the future. And the experience of the finished McLaren Production Centre is equally impressive. You don't realise its scale until you are actually inside the assembly hall, where visitors will have a fantastic view of the different processes from the viewing gallery.”

  • Jason

    Now this is a work of art, for every car fan and architecture automotive fan.! It's BEAUTIFUL!

  • Sam

    What a place that would be to work in every day. Like it.

  • PPT

    Such a great car… and such a boring pair of buildings!
    Not the best piece of work from Foster and Partners

  • MC4

    Why can't the architecture be as seductive as the car instead of just another sterile box???

  • Nullski

    @MC4: because the focus is supposed to be on the car in this case. Think of the building as a blank canvas.

  • http://maartentierens.be Spullie

    the car is the art and the building is just a plain white canvas giving it a podium to shine..

  • Karl

    looks like the bjork video 'all is full of love'

  • siam

    I wonder what a person feels like working in that thing for more then a week?

    • http://dailygrail.com/ Red Pill Junkie

      I guess if they complain they get replaced by a robot.

  • Lone

    "I wonder what a person feels like working in that thing for more then a week?"

    I wonder if the people who complain about these kind of buildings have actually spent any real time in them. I mean, there are comparatively only a handful of similar builds in the world. Oh the horror of working on a quality product in a clean, spacious environment that is well lit. Give me a carpet-lined cubicle with flat-pack furniture any day. 9_9

  • fivedollarshake

    apart from the classic idea of <static buildings> vs <dynamic cars> it's another space designed to never,ever get dirty.. but foster most probably imagined car-heaven like this : white and shiny..

  • Suvin

    This architecture embodies a corporate enthusiasm that is so rigorous and pristine that I feel exhausted just looking at it. Goodness, I'd be terrified of going in, what if I don't match the wallpaper?! Feel like throwing a can of motor oil onto the white floor to break the tension.

    Can only imagine the punishing working regime these architects must have had to go through to achieve this level of purity in detail. Admirable. And by the way, I think its also clear that some members of the design team are fans ;p

  • detailmercheant

    Looks cleaner than the local hospital. If Apple made cars they would be built in a factory like this.. bravo.

  • iag

    …what is the font selection for the signage?? Terrible…
    I hope this is the standard McLaren font and not a concious design decision.
    Overall, very crisp. The most interesting elements in each photograph is either the car or the equipment to make it. The building design is kind of boring and looks a little bit like a 90's sci-fi film set.