Celebrating British motor sport and inspiring the engineers of the future
Mather & Co was involved in the development of this visitor attraction over eight years, working with Silverstone Heritage Limited and the British Racing Drivers’ Club to design a family attraction at the Silverstone circuit, home of British motor racing. The project vision was to bring the extensive heritage and engineering of Silverstone and British motor racing to life through the creation of a dynamic, interactive and educational visitor experience in an existing World War 2 hangar on site. The project was part of a £20 million overall budget, with £9.1 million coming from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. We supported Silverstone Heritage Limited through two rounds of NLHF applications to a successful conclusion and delivery in October 2019.
Silverstone has been synonymous with motor racing since the mid-20th century. It is now one of the most famous sporting venues in the world. However, Silverstone has a much wider story to tell and its place in history was established well before the circuit was even constructed. The Silverstone Experience tells the ‘whole’ Silverstone story for the first time – one that can only be experienced by visiting the site itself and interacting with the multi-layered stories that are woven into the fabric of the modern racing circuit.
Through the creation of the Silverstone Experience as a centre of focus and understanding, with extensive exhibition spaces, a Collections and Research Centre, Learning Studio and a series of site tours, programmes and activities, the heritage of Silverstone is able to reach a far wider audience than before. It is designed to inform, entertain, educate and inspire, whilst stimulating visitors to anticipate the shape of British motor sport in the future and encouraging them to be part of that future.
Our design journey centred around a magical lap of Silverstone on the site that takes people from the history of the circuit and the origins of the corner names to the high-tech operation today, and the technical design, safety engineering, medical science and engineering behind the F1 and MotoGP teams. It is an exhilarating journey where visitors are placed at the heart of the action.
Large-scale cars and motorbikes are placed in context and brought to life in imaginative ways using high impact graphic backdrops, AV projections and dramatic lighting. In the Tech Lab we use a series of different interactive stations to allow visitors to explore the different elements of car/ motorbike design. his space not only provides an engaging environment to explore the many facets of design, but also provides an on-gallery classroom for groups and an advertisement of the many careers in the industry. We developed a series of large-scale AV displays for all the family to have fun together. At the start visitors can enter the starting grid where cars and motorbikes from across the eras speed past them as the lights go out. In the exhibition they can work in teams to change a tyre on a racing car, enter a domed 4D film to experience a lap of Silverstone of all time, and train to be part of an RAF Wellington bomber crew. It is a fun, playful and sensory experience for all the family.
British Racing Drivers' Club and Silverstone Heritage Limited