Work starts this month on car manufacturer Nissan’s first London design studio, designed by architect Tate & Hindle in collaboration with Nissan’s in-house team.
Nissan Design Europe vice-president Shuji Takano will head the London studio, reporting to head of design Shiro Nakamura.
Based in Paddington, the studio is scheduled to be up and running by January 2003 and joins five existing design studios worldwide. It plans to employ around 40 designers and will concentrate mainly on vehicles for the European market.
The studio will be housed in former 1960s, Grade II-listed British Rail maintenance building, the Rotunda, which has stood empty since the 1980s.
‘We chose London for its vibrancy and multiculturalism. We want our designers to be influenced by the contemporary art, architecture, fashion and design scenes,’ says Nakamura.
The Rotunda building renovations are based around the Japanese concept of ‘wa’ meaning harmony. In particular, the designers have focused on creating harmony between European and Japanese cultures, he adds.
It will house a design studio, a presentation area, a computer-aided design suite, a showroom, model-making machines and a ‘chill out’ relaxation zone.