iAero Centre, Yeovil

  • Location

    Yeovil, Somerset

  • Client

    Willmott Dixon

    Somerset County Council

  • Value

    £7.9m

  • Completion

    2020

Smart brief development and sector expertise creates unique R&D hub.

The purpose-built iAero (Yeovil) Centre is a high-value technology innovation hub for prototyping and testing the next generation of helicopters and other rotorcraft, one of very few such buildings in the world.

Conceived as a rental space to co-locate SMEs, Tier 1 suppliers and OEMs, its design showcases Stride Treglown’s market-leading expertise in creating the kind of technically advanced and optimally flexible, collaborative spaces required for successful R&D.

Our first task was to develop the brief. We researched trends and best practice to understand the sector’s specific needs, room dimensions, and most promising technologies.

Since contemporary R&D is increasingly interdisciplinary, we ensured that the architecture would promote collaboration and be flexible enough to facilitate as-yet unknown research.

Our design features state-of-the-art facilities and yet can be repurposed easily to other uses. Each rentable unit (workshop or office) has its own dedicated riser which provides access to additional plant space on the roof. Some of the spaces are capable of being subdivided.

The largest workshop has been isolated from the rest of the building to reduce transfer of vibration. This workshop has a detachable mezzanine gantry to accommodate larger rotorcraft, as needed, and comes complete with gantry crane.

The building’s configuration nudges occupiers to interact in a number of subtle ways. The position of toilet cores and tea points funnels people along the same routes, encouraging chance encounters. Wherever possible, walls and doors are glazed to signal transparency and pique curiosity. The atrium area facilitates collaboration with its cafeteria/informal meeting space on the ground floor as well as breakout spaces on the first floor mezzanine.

A conference space has a floor- to-ceiling video screen and subdividing partition to provide the flexibility to host large events or smaller meetings.

iAero branding and signage

Our Graphic Design team developed the iAero brand logo and subsequent signage. The wordmark is designed to fit within the world of aviation, with the abstract symbol derived from a combination of rotary motion and radar. Green was used to help signify the sustainability attributes of the building.

The 3m x 1.2m main external building sign is produced in brushed stainless steel, with a stencil cut logo creating a 3D/shadow effect for the building identity.

Brushed stainless steel was used for the large floor directory in the main reception area, together with numbered door signs for the flexible business units on both levels of the building. This material follows through in the form of outline symbols used for toilets, showers, tea points, stairs and cleaner’s store rooms.

The branding continues with clear frosted vinyl of the iAero symbol used for manifestation across glazing throughout, as well as the large full iAero logo behind the main reception desk.

Stride Treglown’s services also included Landscape Architecture, Town Planning and BREEAM Assessment