The new home for the iconic Norton Motorcycles in Solihull houses state-of-the-art manufacturing capability and the company’s new global design and R&D hub. It forms a key part of Norton’s strategic growth plan on its journey to becoming the world-leader in luxury hand-crafted motorcycles. Bennetts Associates delivered the facility from inception to handover in less than a year during the 2020 pandemic with the result fully representing the company’s brand values and pedigree.
Retrofitted within an existing light industrial building (a highly sustainable starting point), the new facility accommodates Customer Reception/Handover, brand display, service workshop, manufacturing, Design/R&D studios, test facilities and offices. Reception creates a brand space premised on themes of modern luxury and refinement where all members of ‘The Norton Family’ are warmly welcomed. ‘One front door’ symbolically treats all as equals, from VIPs to operatives on the factory floor. The mezzanine events space provides a spectacular view over the ‘Theatre of Manufacturing’ below – a visually choreographed space where the magic of creation happens.
Two major challenges Bennetts Associates overcame were the rapid speed of the design response and installation 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 New HQ represents a key milestone for the famous brand achieving world-class levels of sustainable global business performance and growth.