LAND ROVER BEN AINSLIE RACING HQ
The Land Rover Ben Ainslie team are Challengers for the 2017 America’s Cup. The team needed a new HQ and training facility in the run up to the event, having started life in various industrial units near Portsmouth. The new facility brings these two activities together providing a world class venue for the assembly of the boats, sports science and fitness facilities in addition to a corporate function space for the team. The headquarters employs c.90 people, with many more jobs in the supply chain.
David George was approached by the Programme Director for this phenomenally fast design and construction process on the Camber in Portsmouth. David’s role was to define the functional brief for the workplace area of the building providing workflow based plans that the interior designers could develop quickly into final designs.
The work involved meeting with the sailing, training, educational and corporate teams in addition to the assembly and support team members. Adapting our proven methodology to suit the nature of the project, we needed to understand workflows and key adjacencies to develop functional layouts that enabled collaboration between the various teams. The workflow patterns and key role activities were mapped out and worksettings developed to support these. Initial team blocking arrangements were developed through an iterative process to agree the principles of the main office floor, followed by functional worksettings and furniture types. This was then passed to the interior designers to select furniture components that worked with their design theme.
Not only were the sailing products still under development using new technology, but so was the way in which the teams wanted to work.
The training and practice sea trials involved an immense amount of technology and data that needed to be streamed back live from the boats to the building so that ‘on the go’ adjustments could be made to improve performance. This involved large video screens and acoustically treated areas. The space needed to be flexible to accommodate a varying range of activities from corporate HQ functions to team talks, training sessions to sponsorship meetings and VIP visits.
A key element in the building is the Tech Deck which offers hands-on interactive experiences, enabling visitors to get close to the boats, people, and the latest technology that will allow the team to fly faster and sail smarter; helping the British Challenger achieve their goal to bring the America’s Cup home for the first time in its 165 year history.
The building was the National Winner of the BCO Innovation Award in 2016.