Foster and Partners McLaren Technology Centre has been included on the six project shortlist of the coveted RIBA Stirling Prize, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The Royal Institute of British Architects presents the award annually to "the building which has made the greatest contribution to British Architecture in the past year."
The McLaren Technology Centre is a showcase for technology and innovation. As well as providing the current technical team with the most sophisticated equipment to optimise its performance, the state-of-the-art facility also acts as an incentive to attract and retain the best engineering talent in the world, providing an impetus for the designers of the future. It is sensitively sited within the surrounding countryside and uses water from the dramatic lake and reed beds to naturally cool the building.
The design was driven by a desire to create a sustainable and ecologically-friendly, flexible and pleasant working environment for a wide range of different functions. The McLaren Technology Centre centralises the majority of the McLaren Group's activities under one roof, in a facility that includes design studios, laboratories, research and testing capabilities, electronics development, machine shops and prototyping and production facilities for the company's Team McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 cars and the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren. Other projects included on the shortlist are Enric Miralles and RMJM's Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, Zaha Hadid's BMW Central Building in Leipzig, Bennetts Associates' Brighton Library, Alsop Design's Fawood Children's Centre and O'Donnell + Tuomey's Lewis Gluckman Gallery in Cork.
The winner will be announced at the prestigious Stirling Prize ceremony on Saturday 15 October in Edinburgh and will be televised live on Channel 4. Kevin McCloud, the presenter of Channel 4's Grand Designs, will present the programme. The Stirling Prize is named in honour of the renowned English architect Sir James Stirling (1926-1992) and the Prize carries an award of 20,000.