This is a unique project, focused around the first cycling specific wind tunnel outside of America with a view to bring together a range of facilities under one roof offering hobby cyclists and Tour de France riders alike a place to test equipment and evaluate all physiological aspects of cycling to improve their riding performance.
In 2014, when we first started work on this exciting project, Boardman Bikes was a small, young and enthusiastic team of keen cyclists working under the vision of Chris Boardman MBE. They were developing new bikes and equipment whilst building a company culture and a brand identity as much as they were working towards the new Performance Centre. For 3.5 years we came along on their journey where our designs have come to embody the Boardman Bikes’ brand vision.
We have designed all of the interiors and the layout for the centre, combining retail, café, activity spaces, wind tunnel lounge, physiology suites, changing rooms, head office space, meeting rooms and research & development spaces. The design is ultimately in support of the wind tunnel experience and aims to build up a journey as one moves through the functions of the building. But it is also a platform from which the company can grow and develop into the future.
The envelope of the building is a commercial shell and we wanted the new architectural insertions to strike a balance with a view to retain an industrial feel to the spaces. As such existing concrete floors have simply been polished up, and the steel structure and service ducts left exposed in the roof space. All new cabinetry insertions have been made of stained birch ply with a high attention to detail in the carpentry to celebrate the attention to detail that the Centre embodies. The combination of plywood and polished concrete, together with stunning lighting provides a simple, elegant backdrop to allow Boardman Bikes to showcase its brand and its products, as well as providing a world-class cycling experience.