The expanded North American headquarters for IKA Works, Inc. tailors a German aesthetic to an American workplace
The AIA North Carolina Design and Chapter Awards Gala (http://www.aiancawards.org/ ) was held on Saturday, September 27th, 2014 in Charlotte, NC at the Westin Hotel. The Design and Chapter Awards program recognizes architects on a statewide level for exceptional design expertise. Spanning public, private, and educational design, the design awards showcase the variety and depth of the design experience of North Carolina architects. Each Design Award project is carefully chosen by juries composed of some of the nation's most elite architects. Projects are selected because they exceed benchmarks for outstanding architectural design, structural composition, and application of design theory. The Chapter Awards are the highest honor that AIA North Carolina can bestow on a person, firm, or organization. A Chapter Awards committee carefully selects recipients each year based on criteria set out by each award:
Honor Award for Project: IKA Works North American Headquarters
Architect: LS3P Associates, Wilmington, NC - Photography by Walt Dowdy
The expanded North American headquarters for IKA Works, Inc. tailors a German aesthetic to an American workplace. The addition maximizes the constrained site and strict budget, with clean lines and modernist design. The result is crisp, contemporary, and comfortable. A double-height lobby welcomes visitors and leads into a product showroom, while administrative spaces include offices, workstations, conference rooms, and a centralized break area. A renovated facility includes administrative offices, a machine shop, and a state-of-theart laboratory for research and development. The updated facade blends seamlessly with the administration building.
IKA Works, Inc. required a building which would help build brand identity in the United States, and wanted the headquarters to be a visual symbol of their sleek, modern, European products. The resulting bold design incorporates large expanses of glass walls, white metal panels, and accents of color to highlight important spaces. Working within a constrained site and tight budget, the design team created a space with clean lines, abundant natural light, and a modernist German aesthetic. Renovations to an existing facility, a single story brick building built in the mid-1980’s as a spec manufacturing building, were phased so that operations in the manufacturing and assembly areas could continue with little interruption. The existing facade also received a facelift, creating a seamless look transition to the new administration building. As a “deep dive” into the project, the design team traveled to Germany to learn about the company’s services, products, processes, and goals. Since the project’s successful completion, it serves as the leading example within the company’s group.
The facility expresses its structure and function through structural steel framing, with sophisticated ground-level masonry details, sleek metal wall panels, and expansive aluminum storefront. Portions of the building are elevated on slender columns, with a transparent ground-level space below highlighting the activity within. The finely-textured exterior includes the human-scale rhythm of the aluminum panels, with warm wood accents to contrast with the cool metal panels and vertical fins for shading of the generous windows. The interior palette is likewise transparent, with a mix of glass-enclosed workspaces, glass interior walls, wood floors, and crisp white details. Welcoming employee workspaces such as a central break room include accents of color, a small hanging green wall to bring the outside in, and seating to accommodate a variety of group sizes.
IKA Works, Inc. would like to thank the expansion team: LS3P Associates, Thomas Construction LLC, Mr. Erhard Schroer (IKA Germany), Mr. Burrows Smith (River Bluffs), Mr. Bob Hardin (IKA USA), as well as all the contractors involved. We would like to express a special thank you to Mrs. Gudrun Stiegelmann for setting foot in the United States in 1985 by opening this first subsidiary and to Mr. René Stiegelmann for initiating the expansion project and giving it a green light.
2014 AIA North Carolina Design and Chapter Awards Gala: LS3P Associates Architect Mr. Danny Adams and IKA Works, Inc. Managing Director Ms. Refika Bilgic (Photo Credit: www.aiancawards.org)