GAYDON, England -- Jaguar has opened a new design studio as part of wider overhaul of Jaguar Land Rover’s UK engineering center.
The studio gives the brand’s design team access to more technology in a far bigger and more collaborative space than the brand's previous location.
The building will allow us "to design the very best cars for our customers, far into the future," Jaguar's head of design, Julian Thomson, said. Thomson succeeded Ian Callum as design chief in July.
The studio moves 52 km (20 miles) to Gaydon, central England, from its current location in Whitley, near Coventry. It is next to sister brand Land Rover's design studio.
The new Jaguar studio is part of a 500 million pound (564 million euro) overhaul of the Gaydon site, which brings together design, engineering and production purchasing for the two brands for the first time.
The idea to relocate the studio was started in 2014, when JLR was making healthy profits. In JLR announced 4,500 job cuts as part of a cost efficiency drive in a bid to return the company to profit again.
The studio's total space is 12,000 square meters, 33 percent bigger than the Whitley site, Jaguar said. The size is roughly similar to that of Land Rover's studio.
The Jaguar studio has 280 staff and has been designed to allow better collaboration between the departments, which are grouped around a central ‘heart space’ area.
The idea was to create a “campus feel,” interior design director Alister Wheelan told journalists at the opening.
“The Whitley team was spread over three buildings and two floors and it didn’t feel very collaborative. Now there’s lots of creative tension,” he said. For example now the materials and colors design team sits in the same area as interior and exterior design.
Whelan said Jaguar design staff worked with the architects to create the best space possible. “It was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” he said.