McLaren Technology Centre opens its doors to Google Street View

From today, Formula 1 fans, car nuts and technology buffs can look around the iconic McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, UK.

People can tour the famous MTC Boulevard and explore some of grand prix racing’s most iconic and successful cars – including Ayrton Senna’s title-winning McLarens, historic CanAm sports cars, the ground-breaking McLaren 12C and the epoch-making McLaren F1 road car.

They can also view the McLaren-engineer Specialized bicycle that Mark Cavendish successfully rode to green-jersey glory in the 2011 Tour De France, and examine the hundreds of motorsport trophies that line the centre’s many silverware cabinets.

We haven’t opened our Foster + Partners-designed HQ to the public – sadly, there’s too much top-secret R&D going on to allow that. But we have allowed Google to bring their Street View cameras inside to thoroughly tour the MTC and give people a unique insight into the usually top-secret facility.

One of the main attractions of the tour will inevitably be the selection of iconic racing cars on display - fans will be able to see Bruce McLaren’s first car – a diminutive, red Austin 7 – before moving further down the boulevard to explore F1 cars from every decade since our first grand prix in 1966, as well as our Can-Am cars and Le Mans-winning McLaren F1.

The MTC itself is an award-winning icon of design, environmental efficiency and high technology. Using Google Street View, people will be able to see the man-made lake and cooling towers which provide efficient temperature regulation for the building, along with the sweeping glass curves and bright white finish which have won numerous architectural awards.

Discussing the decision to open our doors to Google Street View, Martin Whitmarsh, CEO of McLaren Group, said:

“The McLaren Technology Centre is widely considered to be an architectural icon. Of course, it’s also so much more: It is the beating heart of a technology, motorsport and automotive group which this year celebrated its 50th anniversary.

“To mark this milestone, and reward our many loyal fans, we’re pleased to be able to open our doors to the public, with the help of Google. While we sadly can’t allow everyone to visit in person, working with Google lets our fans tour our legendary cars and have a good look around.

“I hope people are as inspired as I was when I saw the MTC for the first time.”

Stephen Nuttall, Senior Director at YouTube, said:

“Street View opens up previously inaccessible locations such as the White House, the laboratories at CERN and the Great Barrier Reef. We're delighted that fans of engineering, Formula 1 and sports cars can now explore the unique environment of the McLaren Technology Centre.”

You can view the McLaren Technology Centre in Google Street View here:

McLaren Technology Centre at a glance:

· The Technology Centre itself has a 20,000m2 footprint on a 50 hectare site, and comprises office space, showroom, manufacturing facilities, a wind tunnel and staff restaurant.

· The main body of the building is broken into 18-metre wide ‘fingers’, with six-metre wide strips between them, called ‘streets’. These allow daylight to permeate and give everyone working inside an awareness of the outside, while also forming part of the ventilation system. Each ‘finger’ incorporates a mezzanine floor, giving a total of 57,000m2 of office space.

· The MTC has an adjoining 50,000 cubic metre lake that, in plan view, shows the McLaren Technology Centre as circular.

· The building is kept at a constant 21degC using water from the lake and an innovative cool-roof.

· The MTC was opened in 2004 by Her Majesty the Queen.