Manufacturer Britishvolt has announced a collaboration with renowned Italian design house Pininfarina, to build the UK’s first large-scale battery gigaplant at the former RAF base of Bro Tathan, Wales.
The Pininfarina legacy spans more than 90 years at the forefront of innovative automotive design, and more recently an expansion into the field of architecture. After decades of working with top brands such as Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Peugeot – including a renovation of the Eurostar fleet operating between London and Paris – Pininfarina has an unrivalled heritage in the transport and automotive sectors. Its world-famous, revolutionary designs will ensure that Britishvolt’s gigaplant is both fit for purpose, and an elegant representation of the future of the UK’s automotive industry.
As an Italian studio working globally, the firm prides itself on always incorporating local culture and community needs within the creation of its spaces, to ensure the maximum positive impact on mental and physical well-being – with sustainability at the top of the agenda. Pininfarina has always been at the forefront of electric mobility, beginning in 1978 with the Ecos automotive prototype. While creating new paradigms of eco-sustainable, and zero emission mobility, the Turin-based design house is still fully committed to a significant number of electric propulsion solutions in various segments of the mobility ecosystem. The priority for Britishvolt was to partner with a company with expertise in this field, that could design a facility that is both sensitive to its surroundings, as well as open and welcoming to the local residents.
Orral Nadjari, CEO and Founder at Britishvolt comments: “We are honoured to collaborate with world-renowned design powerhouse Pininfarina, to create our landmark gigaplant. At Britishvolt, we believe in prioritising an innovative design to match the future quality of our lithium ion cells. With Pininfarina bringing the full force of its elegance and heritage in automotive design to architecture, we believe we can accomplish this desire.”
Orral Nadjari continues: “Britishvolt’s aim to become the world’s first zero carbon battery manufacturer aligns perfectly with Pininfarina’s expertise in creating green, high tech and innovative environments. With carefully selected sustainable materials that take into account the entire building’s life cycle, Pininfarina’s appreciation of social impact is what drew us to this partnership. Their balance between pioneering design and understanding of local culture, is one Britishvolt is proud to take forward.”
Silvio Pietro Angori, CEO at Pininfarina, adds: “We are proud to collaborate with Britishvolt on such an ambitious project, thus contributing towards creating the UK’s largest battery manufacturing facility, and advancing the evolution of e-mobility. Our focus has always been on combining timeless design with social and environmental sustainability, both in automotive design and architecture. Sustainable design is no longer an option to consider down the line, it’s a necessary commitment to create social and economic value for future generations.”
Giovanni de Niederhäusern, Senior Vice President of Architecture at Pininfarina, says: “2020 marks the 90th anniversary of Pininfarina. Over the years, we have been able to draw on the expertise gained in the automotive world and apply this to architecture, starting from Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DFMA) methodologies for off-site construction, up to the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) to evaluate and improve the building’s life-cycle performance.”
Orral Nadjari concludes: “We are aware of the significant impact our 2.7 million square feet gigaplant will have on the region’s landscape. Interacting with the local community will be a priority for us, and we will ensure that a regular dialogue with the residents and businesses of Bro Tathan takes place. We want this structure to stand as a beautiful testament to the local culture, our greener future, and the country’s world-class expertise in battery research and development – which will only continue to grow.”