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International F1 Museum

Part 2 Project 2002
Matthew Brooke
Ranald Lawrence
Newcastle University, UK
The thesis project afforded me the opportunity to explore an exciting synthesis between architecture and motor racing, through the design of an international F1 museum. F1 offered me the unique precedent for an architecturally stimulating project and the opportunity to re-define the frustratingly sterile nature of contemporary motor museums. By reflecting the glamour, dynamism and sensory stimulation of F1 through the exhibits and the museums architecture, a more transparent and legible image of motorsport will become accessible to a wider audience.

The typology of the project demanded a visually stimulating architecture. A landmark structure whose architectural vocabulary not only reflected the activity within, but became an icon, a stimulus for subsequent development in the same way the Guggenheim was the catalyst for Bilbao. This was achieved by developing a bold and dynamic architectural form for the museum and by creating a series of public spaces and opportunities to benefit the community at large. The museum became both destination and gateway.

The bold concept of the unwrapping spiral sat delicately upon a totally glass box offered me the opportunity to express the F1 design philosophy of technology transfer and pushing the boundaries of design to their limits through an innovative tensile structure. The strong conceptual idea drove the whole project, informing all design decisions from tentative sketch ideas to the fine expressive detailing. The expressive connections allowed materiality and innovation to be tested to the limits of architecture and began borrowing ideas and precedents from sources outside of architecture.

The tapering nature of the stainless steel spiral perched above the glass structure brings a new dynamic, transparency and energy to the genre of motorsport museums.

Matthew Brooke
Ranald Lawrence


The dramatic form of Matthew's Formula One Museum evokes the excitement and dynamism of the sport. The bold proposal is thoroughly worked through into a fine building, underpinned by rigorous research and development. The design - from its urban strategy, to highly expressive detailing of its frame and envelope - was refined and tested as it developed through the year, so the finished work has substance and presence.

2002
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