McLaren Production Centre.

As visionary and high-tech as the cars built inside it, 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 where the company manufactures its range of high-performance road cars; it’s located to the south-west of the existing McLaren Technology Centre. The two buildings are 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’s manufacturing processes are closer to an operating theatre in a hospital than a factory, and the new building, with its ceramic tiled floors, is designed to showcase this. The linear arrangement of the 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.

Rising to just over 7 metres in height and embedded in the gentle incline of the site, the Production Centre is sensitive to its rural setting and is not visible from the nearby road. Further screening is provided by the extensive planting of trees and excavated material helps to conceal the building within the hill.

The new building is also designed to be sustainable – the Technology Centre uses the lake for its cooling system, so the roof of the MPC supports this by collecting rainwater and implementing a low-energy system of displacement ventilation.

You can learn more about the MPC at Foster + Partners’ website, here.