The Mercedes-Benz World Heritage and Technology Centre, designed by Aukett Swanke, is situated on the historic Brooklands site in Surrey, a protected area once the location for the Brooklands Racing Circuit used in the early part of the 1900s, and adjacent to the Listed Brooklands Museum
- Location UK
- Type New build
- Area 18,500m² 199,150ft² 60Ha Sector Offices, Retail
- Client Daimler Chrysler
- Services Architecture
Our design was developed in very close collaboration with the client’s internal architectural teams in the UK and in Germany, to design a new European ’signature’ centre to raise awareness of the contribution of Mercedes-Benz to both the history and tradition of motoring and to future technological advances.
The design incorporates the distinctive ‘brand’ drum form on the leading facade facing the test tracks, and many features of the ‘Brand Standards’ which were applied at the time in terms of design features, colours, floor areas, specifications etc.
Visitors to the building enter into a three storey atrium, from which they are transported to the second floor via an escalator sweeping up through this roof lit space to begin the Mercedes-Benz World Experience.
The central feature of the design is the ’Brand Gallery’, acting as an internal and external focus and point of reference for the visitor.
Externally the Brand Gallery walls rake dramatically as they rise to form the tallest element of the design; internally this space houses theatre and exhibition spaces and a communicating stair which leads visitors towards the end of their journey, arcing its way down to the ground floor.
The scheme incorporates a Customer Centre, ‘showroom’ areas displaying latest car models, and the Mercedes-Benz Heritage Centre which incorporates an auditorium and active displays illustrating the history of Mercedes and Benz early engineering and car manufacturing.
There is also a ‘Black Box’ area for flexible / changeable displays / events, staff offices, restaurant / entertaining areas and the Diagnostic Centre (workshops) for maintenance of customer cars and annual checks as part of the brand’s Aftercare Services. The more technical areas and offices are located to one side of the dramatic main entrance atrium with the Heritage Areas and Showroom Areas to the other side.
A single flight escalator takes customers first to the auditorium for an introduction to Mercedes-Benz, and there is then a prescribed route through the building to end with hopefully a new sale.
Outside the building are test tracks for customers to undertake a vehicle driving experience on purpose built circuits, including a skidpan and off-road area with obstacles and rough terrain.
The building has been used extensively since its opening for wider PR activities with international entertainers appearing and events being staged, and is also available to be hired out for corporate events / parties. School parties also visit to experience the educational aspects of the Heritage Centre.
The wider 150 acre masterplan also included a 60 acre public Country Park for local community use, and areas for new office development and a hotel.