10 things you didn’t know about the MTC
The McLaren Technology Centre, home to McLaren Group and Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 team, is world-renowned for its innovation in design and modern architecture. As the name suggests, the building represents a high-technology environment, which is exclusive to the McLaren Group companies, corporate partners and invited guests.
Images of the McLaren Technology Centre tell a thousand words, but here are 10 additional things you might not have known about the MTC:
1. Renowned architect Sir Norman Foster of Foster and Partners was responsible for the building’s design. He was also behind the new Wembley Stadium, the famous Gherkin in London, Hong Kong airport and the new Century Tower in Tokyo.
2. The main frame of the MTC consists of more than 5,000 tonnes of steelwork, creating a space covering 57,000 square metres – large enough to house nine jumbo jets.
3. The artificial lake surrounding the building contains 50,000 m³ of water. The water is pumped through heat exchangers which in turn cool the building and its electrics as well as dissipating the heat produced by the wind tunnel.
4. At the far end of the building lies the 145 metre long wind tunnel. The team uses it for testing aerodynamic parts and set-ups. The tunnel is made of 400 tonnes of steel and uses a four metre wide fan that rotates at up to 600 rpm.
5. The staff restaurant canteen uses low-pressure air to avoid strong smells spreading to other parts of the building.
6. 300,000 cubic metres of earth was removed from the foundations of the building in order to reduce the visual impact on the local landscape.
7. The main body of the building is broken into 18-metre wide fingers with six-metre wide strips between them which are called streets. These allow daylight into the interior of the building and give everyone inside an awareness of the outside. They also form part of the ventilation system.
8. Before anything could be done on the site, huge efforts were made to relocate adders from the area. Four foot plastic fences were erected around an area about a kilometre square, and corrugated iron laid on the ground to warm the earth and attract them to the surface.
9. Over 100,000 trees have been planted in the McLaren grounds, which can be found anywhere from the fields opposite the MTC to the employee car park.
10. There are over 25 historic McLaren cars and hundreds of Grand Prix trophies on display on the boulevard of the MTC as an inspiration the employees and guests every day and mark of McLaren’s prestigious 50-year history.