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²²FIRST LOOK

Bennetts Associates completes 50,000m² centre for Jaguar Land Rover

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The 58,952m² Advanced Product Creation Centre, sited on an original Second World War runway, features one of Europe’s largest timber roofs

The building brings together a design studio, offices, cafeteria, 400-seat multipurpose hall, visitor building and other amenities for 3,500 staff. The centre consolidates operations from Coventry to the Warwickshire village of Gaydon and brings together design, engineering and production purchasing functions for the first time.

At the centre of the building is an internal street which connects the main spaces to existing buildings, while new facilities sit beneath a timber roof spanning 27m. This has been subdivided into 10.5m and 7.5m grids that combine to form 18m-deep office floorplates with 9m-wide atria.

Bennetts associates jaguar land rover hufton+crow 039

Precast lattice planks have an embedded Thermally Activated Building System using radiant cooling to take advantage of the thermal mass of the building.

A supporting steel ‘super-grid’, which is expressed throughout, accommodates a range of spaces and correlates with the triangular geometry of the original airbase runways. A uniform ground plane links the building to its surrounding landscape. 

Planes of timber, plasterboard and glass contrast with the building’s exposed structure. The Jaguar showroom has a curved sculptural exterior wall as an ode to the brand’s design language.

Working with Grant Associates, the team developed a strategy for the landscape that aims to tie together the site’s rural setting, drawing inspiration from Capability Brown’s Compton Verney, also in Warwickshire. A new lake has been placed near the site’s entrance which forms part of the land’s drainage system. Space previously occupied by the car park has been turned into a park providing external amenity for Jaguar Land Rover’s employees. 

Back in 2014, Cullinan Studio won planning for an innovation centre, also for Jaguar Land Rover, but on their Coventry site.

Bennetts associates jaguar land rover hufton+crow 021

Architect’s view

The project transforms an industrial estate in rural Warwickshire that grew organically around the triangular runway layout of a Second World War airbase. Extensive car parks in the centre of the site have been replaced by generous landscape, creating a coherent design strategy for future buildings within a parkland setting. Although the estate had been home to automotive R&D for many years, design, engineering and purchasing have now been brought together for the first time.

The form of the building derives from the site’s triangulated perimeter, with three broad pavilions of different heights arranged around a series of courtyards, atrium spaces and internal streets that connect directly with the largest existing building. An axial pedestrian route, which further emphasises the historic origins of the estate, links the new, watery landscape outside the complex with the park at its centre.

The three pavilions are embraced by a vast timber roof on a long-spanning steel grid, which adds richness to the interior and creates a sense of togetherness across departments who were previously on different sites. Collaboration and serendipity across the entire vehicle development process are fostered by careful placement of circulation routes, bridges, stairs, meeting places and cafés. High levels of daylight, visual stimuli, comfort and amenity accentuate the change in working environment for the population of 3,500 people. Construction and servicing of the building aim for high levels of sustainability and the project will be the centre for Jaguar Land Rover’s creation of electrified, autonomous and shared mobility technologies.

We have endeavoured to create a scheme that reflects them in a way that is distinctive, elegant and enduring – rather like their iconic designs. Community, interaction, sustainability and wellbeing are core to a design approach that will enhance user experience and perform to a high standard – again reflecting their brand. The project represents another significant evolution in our approach to workplace, placemaking and construction, with the adoption of DfMA as an exciting first step for us into what we see as the future of the industry.

Julian Lipscombe, director, Bennetts Associates

Jlr ground floor plan with key

Client’s view

Jaguar has a unique heritage as a design-led brand and this will always to be a central pillar of our DNA. The design values and philosophy that were created by Jaguar’s founder, Sir William Lyons, remain the same and this building will allow us to design the very best cars for our customers, far into the future. 

The new facility brings the entire design team together in one hugely creative space. We truly believe that inspiration comes from interaction and collaboration. Our studio is fitted with the latest technologies but, just as important is the diversity of human expertise and our passion for Jaguar which helps us design the extraordinary.

Julian Thomson, design director, Jaguar

Bennetts associates concept sketches

Project data

Start on site November 2016
Completion
September 2019
Gross internal floor area 58,952m²
Construction cost Undisclosed
Construction cost per m² £3,013 (considering CAT A only, excluding fitout)
Architect Bennetts Associates
Client Jaguar Land Rover
Structural engineer BuroHappold Engineering
M&E consultant BuroHappold Engineering
QS Currie & Brown
Landscape consultant Grant Associates
Acoustic consultant BuroHappold Engineering
Project manager Stace LLP
CDM coordinator MSAFE
Approved building inspector Bureau Veritas
Main contractor Laing O’Rourke
CAT B fit-out contractor Styles and Wood
CAD software used Revit, BIM, Enscape
On-site energy generation 15 per cent from PVs
Overal area-weighted U-value 0.12W/m²K
Design life 60 years

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