Land Rover BAR’s striking headquarters opened on the Camber at Portsmouth in the summer of 2015. Designed by HGP Architects, responsible for Portsmouth’s iconic Spinnaker Tower, the new building is an inspiring base for Sir Ben Ainslie and his racing team. From there, they will launch their bid to bring the America’s Cup home at last in 2017.
The building harbours three key functions - team headquarters for design and training, boat building, and the Innovation Centre for visitors. It houses the sports science and fitness facilities, engineering hub and design studio.
Carbon neutral, the building was constructed using cutting-edge methods, fabric and technologies optimising sustainability to BREEAM Excellent standard. Powered by 432 solar photovoltaic panels, it generates 130MWh a year providing all electricity required. The sail-like façade, created from transparent PTFE fabric stretched around a polished concrete base, is designed to be spectacularly backlit at night and aids towards the building’s energy efficiency.’
Even the local ecosystem benefited from the construction, with Land Rover BAR hosting a project to nurture the local oyster population which is in decline. The oysters will live in a pontoon structure beneath the building.
Schools, community groups and other visitors experience everything from the design process, to hi-tech boat building, racing simulators, physical team training and recreation.
‘Portsmouth has a great maritime heritage,’ says Ainslie. ‘We felt it was a natural home for the team’s permanent base in the UK. There is excellent access to the water for the team’s training and to host future America’s Cup events, with fantastic spectator viewpoints.
‘We hope, through our journey to bring the Cup home to Britain, we will inspire more young people to get involved in the sport, along with supporting the growth of the marine sector in the Solent area to match the country’s F1 innovation hub.’