Liebherr USA, Co.
Liebherr is headquartered in Europe and one of the largest construction equipment manufacturers with facilities in more than 50 countries on every continent. In 2017 the design team was selected to work with Liebherr on a large expansion of the Newport News, Virginia campus. The project scope encompasses a 31-acre site, 4-story, 60,000 sf office headquarters building, an 85,000 sf high bay large mining vehicle maintenance/training facility, a 90,000 sf high bay warehouse building, a large wash bay and a guardhouse.
A planning consultant, based in Berlin Germany, worked with The Liebherr Group to establish design standards and generic finish qualities and standards for Liebherr facilities around the globe, as well as the Newport News campus. When Liebherr awarded this project to the design team, the initial design concept was outlined. The design team’s responsibility was to take the conceptual European modern design aesthetic and develop facilities that would work with US standards, codes and products. The maintenance building and particularly the office building are set up so that all work areas have extensive windows and natural light. Even the maintenance building is flooded with natural light. The office building is very narrow, 42 to the east to 52 feet to the north, so that almost every occupied space has windows and substantial natural light. The extensive windows in the office also provide occupants and potential customers panoramic views of the Liebherr equipment in the service yards around the facility. Many of the workspaces are totally open all the way across the building. Achieving this narrow building footprint while using mechanical systems customarily used in the US was a challenge.
The first floor of the office building provides an impressive entrance experience for customers and staff with a two-story lobby featuring a sleek understated reception desk. Large photomurals on the glass railings of the 2nd floor balcony encircle the Lobby and on the north wall behind the stair is a 2-story image of a large crane. A mostly glass cantilever stair is a focal point that invites customers and staff up to the second floor. To the south of the lobby is a sales/display area for Liebherr products. The north portion of the first floor is an employee breakroom for approximately 100 staff and on the east leg of the first floor is the Human Resources department.
Throughout the building wall murals display Liebherr products and people. The second, third, and fourth floor office areas are mostly open spaces and support sales and service of various Liebherr products. The north leg of the fourth floor is the guest conference center. The customer enters a spacious pre-function area, set-up for catering, before entering the spacious main conference rooms or either of the spacious flanking conference rooms. All three of the conference rooms open to a terrace allowing views of the rest of the Liebherr campus. The conference rooms are fitted with electric shades and automatic lighting to enhance the audio-visual capabilities provided in these spaces.