The ‘People Performance Centre’ (PPC) was the latest in a series of projects delivered by DKA for ‘Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains’. Based within their Technical Centre site in Brixworth, Northamptonshire the state of the art facility was developed to provide a gymnasium and fitness studio for use of the one thousand staff on site.
People Performance Centre
Fitness hub supports staff wellbeing
Attracting and retaining the best staff in a highly competitive industry is successful to the continued success of the record breaking Formula 1 manufacturer and as such the PPC facility was a significant investment in staff welfare. The Brixworth site has been heavily developed in recent years and therefore the only viable development site available within the overall site boundary was on an area of landscaped site, important to the wider site aesthetic as it frames an important view into the site from the A508.
As a result of the site constraints the design concept for the facility was to create a submerged building with a curved (fully intensive) green roof, such that the building looked like a landscape mound from outside of the site boundary. From within the site boundary, the brief from the client was that apart from curtain walling to the main façade to reflect adjacent buildings on site and to bring light into the facility, the building should look a part of the landscape. As a result natural stone retaining walls and a full ‘Living Wall’ were incorporated into the design.
Internally, the facility includes a gymnasium, fitness studio, changing / shower rooms and associated welfare and support facilities. The gymnasium incorporates traditional exercise machines, free weights areas and other specialist equipment. The fitness studio incorporates exercise / spinning bikes and punch bags mounted on a purpose designed retractable framing system. The whole facility is fitted with state of the art AV equipment, linked to central control systems for background entertainment and hosting of tailored exercise classes.
Key design challenges included the waterproofing of the facility in relation to the submerged floor levels and the incorporation of the curved green roof. The facility was completed on time and on budget and delivered impressive air tightness results which contributed to the overall energy efficiency of the facility, also an important client requirement.
James graduated from the Welsh School of Architecture (Cardiff) with an honours degree in 2004, qualifying as an architect in 2006. He joined DKA in 2007 and became a Director in 2016. He also qualified as a Project Manager in 2011 so that he could add value to existing clients and projects and offer new services to new clients.
James has worked across all project sectors during his time at DKA, but has gone on to specialise in Automotive Engineering projects and now leads this ever expanding sector within the office. He works with many leading blue chip clients in the automotive and aerospace sectors and has developed an in depth understanding of automotive process and testing facilities.