Foster + Partners to design Mullin Automotive Park

Designs for the Mullin Automotive Park at Enstone Airfield have been submitted to the West Oxfordshire District Council for planning permission. The submission outlines proposals for a world-class automotive museum in the heart of the British countryside, rehabilitating a disused airfield on part of the site and generating local employment to support the growing community of classic automobile collectors.

Gerard Evenden, Head of Studio, Foster + Partners said, “We are delighted to be part of this exciting new development that represents the convergence of mobility and lifestyle to create a new vision for the future. The Mullin Automotive Park will be a unique cultural destination set in Cotswold countryside, that seeks to support the wider community as well as providing a special experience for classic automobile collectors.”

The museum seeks to capture not just the history of automobiles over the last century, but also be an open-ended collection that charts the changing face of mobility in the future. It will be a centre of knowledge, education and excellence that showcases the extraordinary impact automobiles have had and will continue to have on our lives.

Peter Mullin, Founder, Mullin Automotive Park, added: “By any conventional measure this will not just be another car museum. We have had the automobile for just over a century, but my great grandchildren will probably never drive a motor car – at least not as we know it. Instead they will travel in secure autonomous pods controlled by a computer. The Mullin Automotive Park will tell the powerful story of the automobile and its role in shaping our societies, while also offering a view into the myriad possibilities that the future holds.”

The design draws inspiration from the idea of a rural estate, a journey through a carefully considered landscape towards the main building that forms an integral part of the overall experience for visitors. A small cluster of workshop type buildings with visitor facilities including the ticket office and café are located at the entrance of the site. From here, visitors can walk to the museum at the heart of the site, nestled within the landscape.

Designed as a collection of buildings arranged in a crescent, the museum will be the focal point of the entire development, allowing for most of the site to remain as green parkland. The automotive park also features roads that are especially designed for ‘exercising’ cars from the Mullin collection, allowing visitors to have an immersive experience. The proposals also include a series of residential pavilions and landscaped lodges bringing automotive enthusiasts closer to their collections.

The built form of the museum will be orientated to maximise for thermal performance along with other passive measures and renewable technologies that minimise energy consumption. The proposal also addresses future flexibility and the ability to anticipate changes in the future.