From Wellington Bombers to Formula 1, Mather & Co and Cube Design create the Silverstone Experience

We have brought to life all elements of Silverstone's rich history
– Paul Lee

The Silverstone Experience, a journey through the home of British motor racing, is to open in a refurbished WW2 RAF hangar later this month.

The £20m (US$24.6m, €22.3m) development has taken seven years to bring to fruition and included the restoration of the 4,000sq m (13,100sq ft) hangar.

Led by architect Jane Lock-Smith of Cube Design, the project required more work than was initially expected, with the hangar having to be stripped right back to its steel frame.

Sally Reynolds, CEO of Silverstone Heritage, told CLAD: "The condition of the building was far worse than expected. We had to take the roof off, reinforce the frame and then repaint and reclad the whole building."

Elaborating further, Lock-Smith told us: "Careful restoration had to be undertaken, including the foundations around the base of the hangar, replacement of some steelwork sections that had corroded, and careful assessment for the re-cladding of the hangar. The hangar is so delicately designed that the cladding system could not be supported off the original frame."

A modern new entrance building was created in a similar style to the hangar and chameleon-like cladding was fitted that changes colour in the light and shade. Special lighting has been installed so visitors can see the internal structure of the hangar and a new extension, housing a shop, a café and archive, was also built.

Sports museum specialists Mather & Co were responsible for the design of the exhibition and interactive features, with 20 activities for visitors to try, including changing an F1 tyre, climbing into a replica 1940s grand prix car and piloting a Wellington bomber in a simulator.

Paul Lee, senior project designer at Mather & Co, said the intention had been to bring out Silverstone's rich heritage and social community in the designs and story-telling for all demographics, not just motorsport fans: "We've brought to life all elements of Silverstone's rich history, from its roots as a base for wartime Wellington bombers to the modern-day technology seen in the Formula 1 cars that race here today."

The hangar was one of six built during the construction of RAF Silverstone, which began in 1941. The site was subsequently taken over as a motor racing circuit after the war, with only one of the six hangars remaining.

Originally due to open in July 2019, delays became inevitable in June when construction firm Shaylor Group went into administration. The Silverstone Experience opens on October 25th.

Silverstone Experience  National Lottery Heritage Fund  British Racing Drivers' Club  Silverstone  Silverstone Heritage  Mather & Co  Cube Design 
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08 Dec 2016

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The Silverstone Experience, a journey through the home of British motor racing, is to open in a refurbished WW2 RAF hangar later this month. The £20m (US$24.6m, €22.3m) development has taken seven years to bring to fruition and included the restoration of the 4,000sq m (13,100sq ft) hangar. Led by architect Jane Lock-Smith of Cube Design, the project required more work than was initially expected, with the hangar having to
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The £20m (US$24.6m, €22.3m) development of the attraction has taken seven years to bring to fruition / The Silverstone Experience
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