McLaren Technology Center – the Art of creating Supercars. Episode 1
The proof that automotive performance is one of the purest forms of contemporary art lies in the connection between the Arts graduate Alex Niculae and McLaren, the producer of supercars.
I am hypnotized by the lively green of the park I am walking through, and while I am carefully stepping forward, I am thinking that, lately I was rather a prisoner of my own car seat. Indeed, I was. Driving through nature and trees has nothing to do with the real feel of walking in the open, fresh air and with being able to actually touch the leaves around you. No matter how many things the human mind can conceive, there is nothing more perfect than nature. It is a natural perfection that us, the “superior beings” of the planet, try our best to cripple. In fact, one of the best solutions would be to just stop for a while everything we do and watch the nature doing what it does. It is as simple as that, just copy this obviously superior entity and therefore be able to achieve perfection ourselves. “Our job takes a lot of research. We travel to historic cities, we visit art galleries, auto shows and exhibitions, and attend style or fashion design competitions. Still, the main source of inspiration is nature and the way animals move.” While I am trying to keep up with Alex Niculae’s pace, who is the reason for me being outside, in nature, I am realizing that his message is an epiphany towards which everyone should aspire, or at least those that have creative jobs. Alex is a visual artist who had the incredible luck to be transported into a futuristic fairytale. This same incredible luck brought me here today, near him, in a place where civilization meets nature and they make peace.
“This is my way to the office, and every single day it is as peaceful as today,” Alex tells me and, such, I get a validation for this serenity state that has been surrounding me since I passed the gate of the McLaren complex. “Here everything is in order, it has its place. Everything has a reason and there is no useless polluting. You see that huge lake there, up front? It was especially designed to serve the aero-dynamic tunnel in which the cars are tested.” The story of this futuristic building from the small city of Woking, near London, started much more recent than you would think considering the fame of the McLaren name in the world of Formula 1 races. I could even say that it seems this concept comes from somewhere in the future if I only look at the simple lines of the buildings, with one story the most and at all the huge glass surfaces that are everywhere. Created by the genius British architect, Norman Foster, the McLaren headquarters was built 10 years ago, but it still looks like a vision from a SF movie. That was the moment the brand decided to take a decisive step in producing supercars. It was also then when the McLaren family decided to finance with their own fortune a head office building to match their vision, and most of all their passion for cars.
The full story in MISTERWATCH No. 2 printed October edition 2019.
by Constantin Bacheș, Woking, UK