We were approached by TVR to produce a design for a potential headquarters in an existing industrial unit in Ebbw Vale, near to the proposed Circuit of Wales. This design was in response to their brief. The day-in-a-life of a typical TVR customer below is imagined, completely fictionalised and is purely the work of the architects.
The cladding was designed to evoke a subliminal affinity with the curves found on TVR sports cars.
Lighting would be placed behind the cladding, so that in winter months the centre could be lit up and enhance its night-time appearance.
It should provide an overall effect of a beautifully designed jewellery box, or piece of well-engineered metalwork.
Today’s the day
It was 5:37am and Clive had just woken up. “This is just silly, I’m 48 for goodness sake” he thought to himself. Clive was beside himself with excitement, like a child in an Apple shop. Today was the day he was to pick up his new Griffith from the TVR centre in Ebbw Vale; he couldn’t believe his luck – he’d manage to get his deposit down just in time, as one of only 400, when the car was first announced.
Driving along the long, straight road towards the centre, Clive had plenty of time to be impressed by the curved, perforated copper cladding which covered the TVR centre. It glistened in the sunlight, evoking memories of the scintillating curves on the front wing of a 90’s Chimaera. A solitary new Griffith was sat on the mezzanine above the main entrance doors; his own version now tantalisingly within his grasp.
As he swung into the centre’s customer car park he caught sight of the TVR test-track, his heart beating harder, as more adrenaline coursed through his veins. He couldn’t remember being as energized by anything in his life; perhaps the births of his two children pushed this to a very close second.
Clive and his family were welcomed into the centre by a member of staff, dressed in TVR-branded attire. As Clive passed under the elevated Griffith and into the main space, he noticed how the sunlight passing through the copper cladding dappled across the sumptuous curves of the cars on display. Beyond was the assembly plant, where hundreds of employees were putting together hundreds of other people’s dreams.
All of the options for Clive’s new Gordon Murray-designed Griffith had already been chosen and the car was ready for collection, but before it was time to drive off in his new pride and joy there were a few more treats to be had, put on by the TVR family. Firstly Clive and his family were asked to sit down for a welcome drink at the executive bar, sat in amongst the cars on display.
The Grand Tour
They were then given a VIP tour around the assembly plant by TVR’s Production Director, with him conveying his innate knowledge of the fabrication and assembly process adding to the butterflies in Clive’s belly.
It was now lunch time and all of the staff in the TVR centre adjourned to the mezzanine dining area, with Clive and his family invited to join the management, sales and production staff for a meal together and encouraged to ask any questions they liked. Clive was definitely feeling special and like he belonged, maybe just as a small part of TVR’s new history-making.
The first time
After a delicious meal and fascinating conversation, Clive was taken down to a briefing area, where Rick, a qualified racing driver, who looked suspiciously like The Stig, gave him some tips and a safety briefing, before letting Clive get his hands on what he’d really been waiting for. Rick led Clive to a garage which contained his new Griffith, beautifully lit with spotlights to increase the drama and show off its stunning design. He sat next to him in the passenger seat, and encouraged Clive to start her up; then rev the mighty Cosworth V8, unleashing all of the horses at her disposal. The roar of the engine reverberated between the concrete structure of the garage, heightening the feeling of power under Clive’s right foot. A Star Trek-style door opened in the briefest of moments to allow Clive to take his new baby onto the TVR test track. His family were waiting for him in the grandstand beside the track and Rick told him to open her up. Clive had driven plenty of fast cars in his time, but this was just something else. The tautness of the chassis, suspension and steering, the primeval screams of the engine and the spluttering exhaust note brought the biggest grin to his face.
A very happy man ends a very special day
After feeling like a racing superstar around the TVR track, there was one last surprise for Clive, Rick handed over a ticket for a track-day at the Circuit of Wales with Jason Plato, where he could hone his skills at driving the Griffith – just as he was born to do.