First published picture of Foster’s masterplan for kidney-shaped Paragon headquarters in Woking.
This is the first published image of motor racing and technology group TAG McLaren’s £100m, 35 000 m2 Paragon headquarters outside Woking in Surrey.
The masterplan obtained by Building shows a development, centred on a kidney-shaped curvilinear headquarters next to an ornamental lake. This aerial view gives the best idea of what the Foster and Partners-designed headquarters will look like as it is a long, semi-submerged development. Its 130 ha Mizens Farm site is the subject of a planning application made last October. A decision is expected from planners in March. Contractor Kier has been carrying out site infrastructure works since last March. These include a roundabout off Martyrs Lane, at the junction with the A320. A source at McLaren confirmed that Kier was likely to be named as main contractor. This will be the first big scheme it has carried out with Foster and Partners.
The main building features a long glass canopy on its landside elevation. Its ground level contains a wind tunnel and production units, where McLaren will develop Formula 1 and road cars. The first floor provides accommodation for design studios, which are laid out in the same plan as the production facilities below, and offices overlooking the lake.
VIP visitors enter by a circular covered reception area at one end of a glazed street that runs the length of the 200 m building.
This internal street curves past the production facilities and wind tunnel on one side and a restaurant, fitness centre and swimming pools on the other, overlooking the lake.
Non-VIPs enter the development via the 5000 m2 visitor and learning centre, which is shaped like a sunken amphitheatre. The centre is connected to the main building by an underground link, where McLaren racing cars from the past 30 years are displayed. Visitors will be permitted varying levels of access to the main development.
Paragon will house up to 1000 TAG McLaren Group staff, who will be able to make use of 625 parking spaces . There are also 75 spaces for visitors, in a mix of underground and surface-level parking. To comply with a 1995 public inquiry, the development also features parkland landscape for public use.
The visitor and learning centre will be screened from the A320 by earth mounds, trees and shrubs. A reed bed is to be planted by the Bourne River that runs alongside the site’s border with Horsall Common, a site of special scientific interest.
The development is due to be completed in 2001. Davis Langdon & Everest is quantity surveyor and Ove Arup & Partners is project engineer.