Kent architecture

Hollaway Studio unveil plans for Brompton Wetlands Headquarters in Kent

The campus will be built on a 40ha site of unused wetlands in Kent, 24ha of which are set to be turned into a public nature reserve and community cycleway by Ashford Borough Council.

The factory and headquarters buildings will “hover” 2.2m above the wet areas, with a reinforced ground plate held on foundation piles that will also draw heat from the ground.

The campus will be circled and dissected by a bike path, which Hollaway says will provide “both expansive views of the site and multi-sensory experiences of the factory.”

The path will end on the roof of the new building, where there will be a Brompton Museum, recreation areas and a canteen for workers and visitors.

Hollaway said the new facility will be “carbon neutral” and will use natural light and airflow, as well as wind and solar power to contribute to its energy needs. The building will not have parking spaces.

The campus will house up to 1,500 Brompton employees and produce 200,000 Brompton bikes per year by 2027.

Founded in 1976, Brompton specialize in compact and folding bicycles and are now the largest bicycle manufacturer in the UK. He said the new building will be “perfectly located” between London and Paris – two of his biggest markets.

A planning application for the project will be submitted to Ashford Borough Council by developer Quinn Estates in April.

Will Butler-Adam, chief executive of Brompton, said: ‘There has been a global realization after the pandemic that we need to change the way we live in our cities, to design them around the people who live there, not the automobile.

“Brompton has an important role to play in supporting this transition, but we need more space to innovate and create the products of the future. London was the inspiration for the Brompton and our success is in large part due to our diverse and skilled staff who continue to nurture and grow our business.

“By choosing Ashford, we can maintain this strong link with London and the UK, while being on the doorstep of Europe.”

Guy Hollaway, Senior Partner at Hollaway Studio, said: “Our goal was to explore the question: what is the factory of the future? The challenge in designing this new sustainable factory for Brompton on a 100 acre wetland site was to rethink both the factory concept while creating a symbiotic relationship between industry and nature.

Gerry Clarkson, Leader of Ashford Borough Council, said: “This represents a unique opportunity for the borough to develop a partnership with an internationally renowned cycling brand, which will bring jobs and opportunities to the town, while returning the city’s bicycle-making heritage.

“The arrival of the new factory will allow Ashford to realize a long-standing ambition to create a wetland park that will improve the environment and encourage more people to explore the neighborhood in a sustainable and environmentally-focused way. .”

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Project data

Location Ashfordlocal authority Ashford City CouncilCustomer BromptonArchitect Hollywood StudioLandscape architect Landscape LookPlanning Advisor Icenistructural engineer ManhireQuantity Surveyor Drees & Sommerlead designer Hollywood Studio (currently)Main contractor Quinn EstatesGross interior floor area 38,000m²