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First shots of Foster's second McLaren showstopper

[First look] Foster + Partners’ McLaren production centre, the second building designed by the practice for the car manufacturer, has been offically opened today [17 November]

The 34,500m ² facility at the company’s Woking campus will house the assembly-line for of all future McLaren Automotive road cars, including the recently-launched MP4-12C high-performance sports car.

The new production centre sits to the south-west of the existing McLaren technology centre, which was also designed by Foster + Partners and was shortlisted for the Stirling Prize in 2005.

Linked by an underground walkway, the two buildings share ‘a common language of details and materials’. However the huge new centre, which took only a year to build, is dug into in the ‘gentle incline’ of the site with its lower floor sunk completely below ground.


The building’s roof collects rainwater and has been designed to allow for photovoltaic panels in future. According to a spokesman ‘no soil was removed from the site’ with all excavated materials used to conceal the building within the green-belt landscape.

Norman Foster, the founder and chairman of Foster + Partners said: ‘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.

He added: ‘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.’

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