Leica Camera AG broke ground on April 25, 2012 for new headquarters at Leitz Park in Wetzlar. Attending the celebration were executives from ACM Projektentwicklung, the majority shareholder of the company, the board of Leica Camera, representatives from Leitz-Park, politicians, members of the press and guests. Summilux-C users: the building in the back of the picture above is where the Cine lenses are currently assembled. The building on the right is Weller, where the mechanical parts are made.
The architecture firm Gruber + Kleine-Kraneburg designed the new production, administration and customer care headquarters. It is expected to open in November 2013, with an area of around 27,000 m² (approximately 290,625 ft²). The new energy-efficient building will be home to around 600 Leica employees. Openly visible production areas, a Leica Museum, Leica Galery, Leica Store, photo studio and a restaurant will be available for visitors, friends of Leica and anyone interested in photography. Dare we call it “Leica-land?”
A central plaza creates a unifying element between the new headquarters of Leica Camera AG and the existing facilities occupied by Weller Feintechnik GmbH and ViaOptic GmbH on the Leitz Park site. The cost for the Leitz Park construction project amounts to 55 million Euros.
“Leitz Camera set out from here to revolutionize photography almost exactly 100 years ago. Now that Leica Camera AG is returning to its birthplace, we are confirming the utmost importance the city possesses for the entire optical industry segment in Germany,” said Dr. Andreas Kaufmann of ACM. “Leica Camera AG is returning to Wetzlar, to a new home that will be open to visitors and photography enthusiasts and will offer a unique experience with valuable insights into the past, present and future of photography.”
“The production and administrative buildings in the development are being built to the latest environmental and energy-efficiency standards and will allow us to rapidly satisfy the enormous demand for Leica products without the delays we have sometimes suffered in the past,” said Alfred Schopf, Chairman of the Executive Board at Leica Camera AG. “Our colleagues will enjoy a modern and attractive working environment that motivates, promotes creativity and enables us to provide Leica’s familiar technical perfection, satisfying the most stringent quality demands. The new headquarters development is a further milestone in the history of our company that benefits not only us but also our customers and visitors.”