Foster and Partners today joined the McLaren Group to mark the official opening by Her Majesty The Queen of its new headquarters, the McLaren Technology Centre, which was designed by the world-renowned practice.
Lord Norman Foster attended the event at the McLaren Technology Centre with his Partner, David Nelson. Foster and Partners have designed a Centre that is sensitively sited within the surrounding countryside and that uses water from the dramatic lake and reed beds to ecologically cool the building. Creating a sustainable and environmentally friendly, flexible and pleasant working environment for a wide range of different functions was the central concern behind its design.
The Queen, who was accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, was taken on a tour of the facility, which included meeting McLaren employees and McLaren Group Partners, before officially opening the McLaren Technology Centre.
As part of a long-term strategy for the McLaren Group, the concept was to build a facility that will showcase 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 will also act as an incentive to attract and retain the best engineering talent in the world and provide an impetus for the designers of the future.
Lord Foster said:
Since the 1970s we have pioneered the design of flexible workplaces, providing not just low-energy buildings but those that give real social benefits. The McLaren Technology Centre is the outcome of this experience combined with the vision of Ron Dennis our client and a fantastic collaboration between the many teams involved in this highly innovative building. The McLaren Group is honoured and privileged that Her Majesty The Queen has opened our new headquarters a sentiment we are sure is shared by our architect on the project, Foster and Partners, said Ron Dennis CBE, Chairman and CEO, McLaren Group. Together with the McLaren Technology Centre Partners and architect, the McLaren Group has created a building that as well as being forward thinking in design and construction will provide an environment that will motivate and influence the people who will work within it. The facility is a major functional tool to ensure that we remain at the forefront of British engineering and technology, whilst helping to strengthen and develop the McLaren brand. The opening of the McLaren Technology Centre will be a milestone in the history of the McLaren marque, and we are proud it has been recognised in this way.
Construction of the world-class facility began in 1998 on a 50 hectare site just outside Woking in Great Britain. The McLaren Technology Centre has enabled the centralisation of the majority of the McLaren Groups activities under one roof, in a facility that includes design studios, laboratories, research and testing capabilities, electronics development, machine shops and prototyping and production resources. There will also be a separate Visitor and Learning Centre which will open at a later date. The McLaren Technology Centre includes design studios, laboratories, research and testing facilities, electronics development, machine shops and prototyping and production facilities for the companys Formula One cars and the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren.
Notes to the Editor
About Foster and Partners:
Foster and Partners is an international studio for architecture, planning and design led by Norman Foster and a group of Senior Partners. The practice is based in London but has project offices in a dozen different countries. Since its foundation in 1967, the practice has been responsible for a strikingly wide range of projects, from urban masterplans, airports, civic and cultural buildings, offices and workplaces to private houses and product design. In recent years the practice has completed projects as diverse as the New German Parliament in the Reichstag in Berlin, Chek Lap Kok International Airport in Hong Kong and the Great Court at the British Museum in London.
The McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, England, the McLaren Groups new headquarters has been developed on a 50 hectare site. As the new corporate and production headquarters, the McLaren Technology Centre is a world-leading facility that has integrated the 900 employees of the McLaren Group under one roof.
The McLaren Group is comprised of specialist, high technology companies each maximising the benefits of the global reputation that McLaren has established in the cutting edge technology sport of Formula One, with Team McLaren Mercedes. Through the application of the principles of total commitment, quality and excellence, the McLaren Group has firmly established itself as a pioneer within British industry across a range of fields, with its automotive division currently producing the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren super sportscar, the first Mercedes-Benz vehicle to be both developed and manufactured by a third party outside Germany.
McLaren Racing, the company behind the Team McLaren Mercedes team, was formed in September 1980 as a result of a merger between Team McLaren and Project Four, a British company owned by Ron Dennis, now Chairman and CEO of the McLaren Group. McLaren has won eleven Formula One Drivers Championships and eight Formula One Constructors Championships including the 1998 and 1999 Drivers World Championship. McLaren has been the most successful Formula One team in the recent history of the sport. In the past 20 years McLaren has won nine Formula One Drivers World Championships and seven Formula One Constructors Championships, securing 107 victories, which is more than any of its competitors.
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