HRH the Prince of Wales officially opened our £85 million National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC) on the University of Warwick Campus this February after seven years of dedicated work by a brilliant team of clients, consultants and designers.
The building is named after Prof. Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, the visionary chairman of the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) who led this collaboration between academia and industry, and who sadly died just before the building work was completed. The building hosts the Jaguar Land Rover advanced research teams, Tata Motors European Technical Centre and WMG staff, students and their projects. It’s all about getting the best out of researchers, academics and manufacturers, a diverse melting pot of expertise in a great Aladdin’s cave of experimentation.
Over the past 12 months the building had been gradually fitted out with five-axis robotics, driverless car tech, virtual reality chambers, and dynamometer testing cells, with hundreds of research engineers moving into their new home. Yet, such was the secrecy for the ‘opening’ that it was only when the silk was swept from the commemorative plaque that we knew it was at last entering the public domain.
Our thanks to our clients and to RLB, Arup and a host of excellent consultants for their dedicated teamwork. Our own team had worked in three groups simultaneously; client-side, with Balfour Beatty as contractor, and on workplace design to complete a complex and uniquely challenging project built to a cost of £2,600/sqm.
My colleagues at Cullinan Studio are listed here in tribute because it is almost impossible to get any design magazine to name-check the team that lies behind every major project.
Roddy Langmuir, Peter Inglis, Carol Costello, Brendan Sexton, Lara Michael, Joseph Frame, Gráinne Nestor, Aditya Aachi, Dominic Wilson, Eugénie Bliah, Oliver Parkinson, Aditi Saxena, Jonathan Marfleet, Wen Quek, Michael Arnett, Pei Yee Yong, Hannah Durham, Timmy Whitehouse, Edward Robertson, Emiliano Zavala, Marianne Howard, Sahiba Chadha