At the annual meeting of the Leica Historical Society In Pittsburgh last month, ACM Managing Director Andreas Kaufmann showed renderings of Leica’s proposed new headquarters in Wetzlar. Planning began in 2007 for a new development called Leitz-Park. On December 1, a group of Leica executives, bankers, associates, advisors, and architects met with Wetzlar officials to present 15 volumes and 1000 sheets of paperwork, plans and building permit applications.
Leica’s new headquarters will be huge: 27,000 square meters (260,625 square feet, which is almost 7 football fields). It will have easy access from the highway, and is about 45 minutes north of Frankfurtwhen driving at less than maniacal Autobahn speeds.
The design is inspired by the curves and rounded sculptural shapes of early Leica cameras. The building will house customer service, R&D, a huge Leica showroom, store, gallery, cafeteria, museum, finance, administration, and production. Currently, Leica cameras are manufactured in Solms, about 6 miles away.
Construction is planned to begin in Spring 2012 and completion is scheduled for 2013, in time for the 100th anniversary of the brand.
Architect Marcel Koch-Mehrin has designed a “green” building with geothermal and solar power, and lots of natural light.