Mercedes-Benz USA Offices – Sandy Springs

Form meets function in the modernist design of Mercedes-Benz's Sandy Springs offices, a space that matches the same level of class and sophistication as the renown German car manufacturer.

Firm
  • Client Mercedes-Benz,
  • size 206,000 sqft
  • Year 2018
  • Location Georgia, United States,
  • Industry Manufacturing,
  • Gensler has completed the design and build of the inspiring offices for elite car manufacturer, Mercedes-Benz, located in Sandy Springs, Georgia.

    A legendary carmaker builds a modern, connected environment to enable it to go further and faster. At the new Sandy Springs, GA, headquarters of Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA)—the unit responsible for sales and service support as well as marketing for Mercedes US dealerships— cars and collaboration are on full display. Designed from the inside out, MBUSA’s glassy home is designed to better enable communication, collaboration, and, ultimately, innovation.

    At just three and a half stories, the final geometry is the result of the design concept, that a lower-profile structure with more generous floor areas would better enable them to create the kind of connected environment they sought. To allow light deep into the interior of each floor, the floor plates are broken up into two sections—or work bars—that are gently offset and joined by an atrium marked with an open, interconnecting stair.

    The interlocking of form and function as executed in the MBUSA headquarters is, of course, a familiar tenet of Modernist design, particularly of the German variety. And the building makes an entirely deliberate nod toward such Modernism, which is evident in everything from its “Miesian” geometry to its materiality. Gropius, one of the pioneers of modernist architecture, said, “we want an architecture adapted to our world of machines, radios, and fast cars.” The objects that Gropius named allude to three of the modern age’s key considerations: efficiency, communication, and ease of movement. And it’s no coincidence that all three are manifested in MBUSA’s interior—by means of a modified benching system, a diverse assortment of collaboration areas, and an open floor plan, respectively. To that list of key considerations, MBUSA has added transparency and accessibility— in the form of an abundance of glass and executives seated in offices interspersed throughout the workplace (as opposed to residing in their own wing)—to create a workplace that eradicates the barriers to high performance.

    With the company’s relocation to Atlanta, they were as focused on changing their culture as much as their geography. This commitment to a cultural shift can be seen in the creation of community spaces located in and around the atrium – a coffee bar, a café, and casual seating areas—which function as alternative work areas. To connect the two work bars positioned on either side of the atrium, wide bridges span one end and serve a similar communal function.

    MBUSA’s home is positioned on the site relative to a major transportation artery. Drivers making their way along that route, have a direct view into the building and its transparent heart: the atrium. And though the headquarters’ expression, with its clean lines, prominent grids, and unapologetic orderliness, is what one would expect for the headquarters of this automobile icon, the interior is where the true—and truly surprising—essence of modernity lies: in the facilitation of new relationships and new ideas.

    DesignGensler
    Contractor: Skanska
    PhotographyGarrett RowlandJason O’Rear