The collaboration between WilkinsonEyre and Dyson began in 1994 and work on their headquarters and teaching campus at Malmesbury, Wiltshire, has continued through successive expansion projects for more than 20 years.
Additionally, we have worked on another site, the former Hullavington airfield, where old World War II hangars have been repurposed as research facilities. Our adaptable design proposals for the “Dyson Demo” shops have been deployed at a number of retail locations in Paris, New York and London.
At the time that WilkinsonEyre was invited to design the new headquarters, Dyson was one of the fastest growing companies in the UK. The new development needed to embrace an extensive range of uses and be built and occupied in a rolling programme. Our original masterplan for the overall site optimised the layout of a range of functions whilst incorporating flexibility for future expansion.
The design of the headquarters building created an exciting yet economical space with an undulating wave form roof which ‘floats’ above the trees, disguising the bulk of the factory. The architecture is derived from a clear expression of the structure and a limited palette of materials and is designed as repetitions of a standard module. New and existing buildings on the site are linked by an exciting crystalline cube, distinguished by a lightweight canopy, which contrasts with the ‘sheds’ either side and draws in approaching visitors.
Since the first manufacturing buildings were completed, changes to the operational model have seen manufacturing and distribution move elsewhere to be replaced by an expansion of R&D & support facilities. These include design development building D9, the Lightening Café, an energy centre, and the Hangar sports facility. The most recent arrival is the Institute of Engineering and Technology (2019) a new model for apprentice-based learning that integrates a higher education campus with commercial industry, research and development.
Undergraduate Engineers work alongside the Global Engineering team from day one and take responsibility for live projects, all while studying for their engineering degree. WilkinsonEyre has designed a new ‘undergraduate village’ of 67 accommodation pods – each for an individual student and a clubhouse (the Roundhouse) comprising a café, bar, lecture hall and study space. The village also includes shared amenities including kitchens, communal spaces, laundry rooms, a reception and amenity space, all located at the heart of the campus.
WilkinsonEyre designed the first Dyson showroom in Paris back in December 2000, displaying the Dyson vacuum cleaners like sculptures in a gallery. The Dyson Demo international roll out similarly takes an experiential approach in which products are displayed on plinths like artworks, while technical information is communicated on video walls. Customers are able to access a wide variety of information, from the initial conceptual ideas to details of the innovative technology that makes Dyson products.