Nissan Design Europe, the starting point for some of the Japanese brand’s most popular road-going models, is marking 15 years at its current home.
The studio officially opened its doors for business on 25 January 2003 in the Paddington area of London. It followed an extensive renovation program which transformed a disused and graffiti-covered transport depot – officially called “The Rotunda” – into an urban design space.
Known internally as NDE, for a decade and a half it has been at the heart of Nissan’s car development in Europe – particularly on crossovers. The original Qashqai concept (2003) began life on the drawing boards of NDE, as have all the production versions which followed.
NDE has also been the driving force behind the Qashqai’s baby brother, the Juke. The first hints of its frog-like stance appeared on the Qazana concept (2009).
“NDE has made an outstanding contribution to Nissan’s global product range of today, especially with the Qashqai and Juke, which have delivered new levels of choice, versatility and innovation for consumers,” says Mamoru Aoki, vice president at NDE.
One of Aoki’s favourite NDE creations is the CONCEPT 2020 (pictured above) that was first unveiled in 2014. Although at the time it was principally created for PlayStation’s Gran Turismo video game, the vehicle also previewed Nissan’s future design language that was then dubbed ‘Emotional Geometry’.
A European design studio for Infiniti, Nissan’s ‘premium’ brand, also opened on site back in 2014.