Ben Ainslie Racing HQ


Ben Ainslie Racing




HGP Architects


T A Colbourne




Fabric Cladding, ETFE & Retractable Solar Blind Installation

Over the past 12 months, a new landmark has arrived on the Portsmouth shoreline – Land Rover BAR’s headquarters, a building which will play host to a team that is making a bid to win sailing’s top prize. Developing a yacht and crew good enough to enter and win the America’s Cup requires a multi-million-pound investment.

The Brief

Using modern methods of construction – and with technologies incorporated into the design to seek carbon neutral credentials – Ben Ainslie Racing sought to commission a home that brings together the three key functions of boat design and team training; boat building, a visitor and education centre. HGP Architects who designed the Spinnaker Tower, were commissioned to design and deliver a unique and functional building on the Camber site in Portsmouth.

Base Structures was asked initially by HGP Architects to provide a semi-transparent fabric cladding wrap to stretch around a robust structure of a combination of glass reinforced concrete and glazing with the fabric having the capacity to be externally back lit.

As designs developed, Base were also commissioned to provide a triple skin ETFE cushion insulated atrium roof system to provide a high level of light through into the central core of the building, together with an internal retractable blind system to handle solar gain and glare.

The Team

Hamish Calder – Ben Ainsley Racing
Matthew Williams – Architect, HGP Architects
Vivienne Conway – Architect, HGP Architects
Kevin Hemmings – Architect, Base Structures
Fraser Shirley – Project Manager, Base Structures


Ferrari Soltis 86 fabric mesh was specified for the external vertical cladding to allow a degree of transparency both sides, with the roof panels using a sold PVC Mehler 7211 fabric to allow for drainage. The ETFE triple layer system provided by Vector Foiltec, achieves a U value of 1.96 W/m2k with a light transmittance of 87%.


“Home of Ben Ainslie Racing Built to BREEAM excellent standards, a purpose-built facility housing all of the team’s activities from design to sailing, sports science to marketing – a showcase for sport, innovation, technology and sustainability in the heart of Portsmouth.”

Vital Statistics

Similar Projects

  • Denmark


  • Cardiff

MSCP Cardiff

  • Guilford

Guildford Harbour Hotel

some of our clients

Network Rail Logo
zsl london zoo logo
The NEC Birmingham
MCC Logo Lords
Mace Logo
ISG Logo