First look at Foster + Partners' classic car museum

by Andrew Manns | 15 Jan 2019

British architecture firm Foster + Partners have unveiled plans to design Mullin Automotive Park in the heart of England's picturesque Cotswolds region.

The proposed £150m (US$192.5, €168.2m) motoring museum, which – if greenlit – will take shape at Enstone Airfield near Great Tew, will comprise a showroom and a main concourse plus a number of pavilions, lodges, green spaces, and interlinking test-drive roads.

According to the architects, the idea behind the museum is to "capture not just the history of automobiles over the last century, but also be an open-ended collection that charts the changing face of mobility in the future".

Peter Mullin, the attraction's founder, reiterated this sentiment, saying that the attraction would "tell the powerful story of the automobile and its role in shaping our societies, while also offering a view into the myriad possibilities that the future holds".

Plans for Foster + Partners' proposal were only recently submitted to the West Oxfordshire District Council; the project, however, has been a source of controversy since its early conceptualisation.

In December 2017, the Oxfordshire division of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) argued that the project would "not fulfil the housing need in the district". The group also mentioned the museum’s propensity to generate "excessive traffic" that would affect the area's "rural character".

Mullin addressed some of these concerns in December 2018, when he told the Oxford Mail that the re-submitted proposal would allocate £1.7m for affordable housing, traffic management, community buses, and a school park in Great Tew.

Mullin  Foster + Partners  motoring  Mullin Automotive Park 
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British architecture firm Foster + Partners have unveiled plans to design Mullin Automotive Park in the heart of England's picturesque Cotswolds region. The proposed £150m (US$192.5, €168.2m) motoring museum, which – if greenlit – will take shape at Enstone Airfield near Great Tew, will comprise a showroom and a main concourse plus a number of pavilions, lodges, green spaces, and interlinking test-drive roads. According to the architects, the idea behind
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The museum will be located in the Cotswolds, one of the UK's Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). / Courtesy of Foster + Partners
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