In Brief

More than hot air: Dyson builds innovative £250m campus

Ultramodern design by Wilkinson Eyre integrates the firm’s existing headquarters and factory alongside new additions

One of the UK's most innovative technology companies, Dyson, has enlisted the help of prolific architecture studio Wilkinson Eyre to produce a £250m revamp to their campus-like HQ in Malmesbury, Wiltshire.

The buildings, all deliberately designed to give the feel of a university campus, extend to 56 acres, providing 129 state of the art laboratories for 200 live technology projects.

The scheme integrates the firm’s existing headquarters and factory alongside new additions: the D9 research and development building, the lightning café, and the ‘hangar’, which provides sports and leisure amenities for employees.

Wilkinson Eyre, who were involved in the building of the initial development 20 years ago, have ensured the surrounding landscape has been "enhanced to offer more privacy and prevent direct views into the building while the greenery connects to the existing nature walk, which surrounds the perimeter of the site," says DesignBoom.

Dyson which spends £5m a week in research and development is thought now be the UK's largest investor in robotics and the feel of the new buildings certainly have a futuristic appeal.

"It is out of critical glare, in stimulating spaces, surrounded by engineering inspiration and design icons, that bright minds can breathe life into ideas," says James Dyson, the founder and chair of the company.

"Our new Malmesbury campus is where our technologies are conceived and from here they grow into commercial realities," says CEO Max Conze.

"As Dyson grows globally, it is through investment in research, spaces and bright young minds that we will be able to continue our mission in creating problem solving technology right in the heart of the Wiltshire countryside.”

The highlight of the new construction is undoubtedly the mysterious D9 building. Dubbed the "house of secrets" D9 features reflective structural glass, steel columns, concrete floors and a concrete top.

Motors, software, electronics, energy storage, robotics and personal care are among the areas being researched and tested in the space.

Its reflective glass exterior keeps the inside workings of the building confidential, while reducing heat-loss and blending the building into the surrounding Cotswold landscape, says the company.

Alongside the ultramodern building design, the campus also houses some design icons from yesteryear with an English Electric Lightning Jet suspended in the new café and a range of Mini Coopers dotted around its exterior.

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