FROM THE DRAWING BOARD

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FROY THE RAW C 30A

The Slyerstone ng was deogned by arch ec John odes from desgn firm Populous whale has worked wIth the BRDC throughout the negotlatons for a new F1 deoL Rhodes below, explans what he set out to achleye

“I WANTED THE BUILDING TO REFLECT THE HISTORY of Silverstone, the old wartime airfield and the racing circuit itself, hence The Wing, which is drawn from both aeroplanes and racing cars. The architecture itself is very much driven by the idea of velocity; we wanted a strong concept, as you see in the roof, which I think reflects the speed of the circuit itself.

Silverstone has an ingrained history but it has evolved over time, so this is the next evolution which, we think, retains some of the character and history of the place.

It was a tight budget, nothing on the scale of places like Abu Dhabi, so cost was a major factor of the brief from the BRDC who wanted a building that not only serves as a centrepiece for the Grand Prix but which can also pay its way throughout the year. So as well as the new pits, garages, media centre and race control there are three halls and an auditorium which provide spectacular spaces for corporate business, product launches and exhibitions. We worked well as a team with the BRDC to produce the building they wanted. The project went smoothly and the builders, Buckingham Group, did well to get the job done in such a short time. We had to deliver the Formula 1 requirements, which are very technical, as well as the commercial spaces that will perform the day-to-day functions of the building. It is an economic construction, a building of its time, and one which serves a multitude of purposes. It can function at a high level when required, as

for the big events, and also as a place where the BRDC can do business the rest of the year. The building of The Wing was integral in the signing of the new agreement with Bernie Ecclestone, and the brief in turn was defined by the negotiations with him. So it was important to ensure that it delivered on Fl ‘s requirements. Much of the design was driven by the hospitality contract with Allsport, and there was an opportunity to re-brand Silverstone at the start of a new 17-year contract for the British GP

The only way we could get the maximum from this building, and within a tight budget, was to work as a team with the BRDC, just as a racing team works together to produce results. The eyes of the world will be on us at the Grand Prix this year and it will be the ultimate test of the building and its facilities. There are always details that could have been improved had we had more money, but perfection is rarely achieved in architecture, and The Wing had to fulfil the demands of 21st-century Fl as well as the more mundane day-to-day activities which are so important to the future of the BRDC.

We have angled the new pitlane five degrees, so that it opens up to the crowd watching from the other side of the track, and the whole pit area gives the building a dynamic, a feeling of speed. I’m very pleased with the aspect and the perspective in this area, and I think it will be exciting for the crowd to see the cars going into and out of the new pits, as well as racing into a very fast corner immediately beyond.”

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