DaimlerChrysler is hoping to get outline planning consent next month for a Mercedes Benz brand experience centre, designed by Aukett, at the world’s first purpose-built motor racing circuit, Brooklands in Surrey.
Aukett will deliver ‘the full architectural package from materials to signage’ should the project get the green light, says its project co-ordinator Sabine Carlson-Stenner. Brand experience group Live has been appointed to work alongside the consultancy.
Billed as a heritage and technology centre, the 1.85ha development is the UK iteration of the company’s ‘metropole concept’ for the Mercedes Benz brand. Other centres are planned in Milan, Paris and Stuttgart.
‘It’s about telling the customer something about the brand,’ says DaimlerChrysler architect Matthias Storz. ‘We’re conveying a message about the heritage, tradition and future of Mercedes Benz – it’s important that we’re going out to the customer, not the other way round,’ he says.
Aukett has created a masterplan for the site, including a hotel, business development and community park, as well as the brand experience centre.
Situated next to the existing Brooklands museum in Weybridge, the attraction will house a technology centre, display galleries and theatre along with education and hospitality facilities.
Plans are also afoot to enable visitors to test drive cars on a new track that may be built adjacent to the historic circuit.
A planning decision will be made by Elmbridge Borough Council on 24 February. The detailed design stage will begin shortly afterwards if the application is carried.
Aukett director Ian MacDonald is leading the project team. The practice was appointed last September. If approved, the Mercedes Benz centre is likely to open either in late 2004 or early 2005.