Norton Motorcycles HQ Solihull, Birmingham Commercial Development News, West Midlands Architecture Photos
Norton Motorcycles HQ in Solihull
16 Nov 2021
Design: Bennetts Associates
Location: Solihull, West Midlands, central England, UK
Photos © Hufton+Crow
Norton Motorcycles HQ
New sustainable Norton Motorcycles HQ marks the re-start of a British icon
Three Key Themes:
• Representing the re-start of an iconic brand
• Creating a new home for the Norton Motorcycles
• Designing for circular economy and speed of installation
Re-start of the iconic Norton brand has been marked with the completion of a new HQ in Solihull, at the heart of the UK’s automotive hub. Delivered from inception to handover in less than a year during the pandemic, the 7300 sqm facility speaks of reinvigorated brand values and provides state-of-the-art facilities.
Housed within an existing light industrial building, the new facility accommodates Customer Reception/Handover, brand display, service workshop, manufacturing, Design/R&D studios, test facilities and offices.
Rescued from administration by Indian motorcycle giant TVS Motor Company in April 2020, Norton has been rebuilt from the bottom-up to blend the essence of its past with a bold vision for its future. The new HQ represents these new brand values through a futured aesthetic, engineering finesse and a focus on sustainability/wellbeing. Reception/Handover will host displays of current and seminal heritage models in a crisp contemporary setting where customers are invited to collect their bike made in the factory visible adjacent.
The notion of the ‘Norton Family’ is at the heart of the brand, embracing all members from customers to owners to staff. The new facility creates a homely atmosphere where all are welcomed warmly with regular gatherings in the reception and events spaces. ‘One front door’ symbolically treats all as equals, from VIPs to operatives on the factory floor.
Robert Hentschel, Norton CEO, said: “The new Norton factory is a true embodiment of the Norton marque. The new Headquarter is the most high-tech and advanced production facility in the Norton marque’s 123-year history. It is home to design, engineering, purchasing, sales, marketing, and support teams, as well as the skilled production team that is resuming the manufacture of motorcycles.”
“The new facility demonstrates our unwavering commitment to the motorcycles we make – we will not compromise on quality – and will work with every supplier to ensure that our high standards are always met. With this new HQ opening, Norton is now ready for the future – creating world-class motorcycles that are true to the unrivalled legacy of Norton.”
Julian Lipscombe, Director of Bennetts Associates said: “It has been a great privilege to play a key role in the rebirth of a global icon. We have created an environment for Norton that embodies their commitment to design quality, innovation and sustainability. A project ethos from the outset of ‘simple things done beautifully’ has resulted in a refined solution that could be delivered at great speed.”
Two constraints key to the design response were rapid speed of installation and the need to facilitate Norton’s future growth. Central to addressing these was the implementation of circular economy principles, making use of proprietary components that can be reconfigured, adapted and reused over time to minimise waste. The best example is the primary distribution for the Manufacturing Hall which had to be designed while process layouts were still in flux.
Innovative use of trusswork from the entertainment industry forms the main gantry and was installed over a matter of days with services designed to be hyper-adaptable. The end result is an intelligently engineered solution using flexible components that will allow Norton to expand and evolve. This is one of numerous sustainable and rapid build techniques on the project, the components of which are almost ‘50% reconfigurable’ as a proportion of total construction cost.
The manufacturing of motorcycles began in the facility within just 6 months of the team being commissioned, with the wider facility completing few months later – all of this in parallel with Norton being re-established and pandemic restrictions throughout.
Norton Motorcycles HQ in Solihull, Birmingham – Building Information
Design: Bennetts Associates
Project Area: 65,000 sf
Number of storeys: 1 storey + mezzanine
Facilities: Customer Reception, Handover, Service Workshop, Manufacturing, Design/R&D, Offices & Amenity/Events facilities
Completion: November 2021
Client: The Norton Motorcycle Co. Limited
Architecture: Bennetts Associates
– General: Bennetts Associates
– Reception/Handover: Bennetts Associates with Studio Hagger
Project Manager & QS: Stace
Structural Engineer: Cundall
Services Engineer: Couch Perry Wilkes
Main Contractor: Overbury
About Bennetts Associates
Bennetts Associates create sustainable and enduring architecture.
The practice has completed a diverse portfolio of cultural, workplace and education projects in both the public and private sector, ranging from masterplans to small historic buildings. As one of the UK’s leading practices, its work has been celebrated with more than 200 awards over 34 years and has recently won three RIBA National awards. Bennetts Associates is an employee-owned trust with studios in London, Edinburgh, and Manchester.
Bennetts Associates is responsible for many prominent projects, most recently the Royal College of Pathologists and the London Borough of Camden headquarters in London, Storyhouse in Chester, the Bayes Centre for the University of Edinburgh, and Jaguar Land Rover in Warwickshire. The practice is currently working on Facebook’s London HQ in King’s Cross and the University of Edinburgh’s Futures Institute.
Bennetts Associates is a leading pioneer of sustainability – in April 2019 they became the world’s first architects to secure Science Based Target approval and commit to the UN’s Climate Neutral Now campaign. The practice is a founding member of the UK Green Building Council and the first architecture practice in the world to report company impacts using the GRI Guidelines.
Photography © Hufton+Crow
Norton Motorcycles HQ, Solihull building images / information received 161121 from Bennetts Associates
Location: Solihull, Birmingham, West Midlands, England, UK
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