Designing Mazda’s New Home: Explore Mazda’s New North American Headquarters
In August of 2017, Mazda celebrated the official grand opening of its new North American headquarters located at 200 Spectrum Center Drive in Irvine, California.
As part of a complete evolution of the brand, Mazda’s new home in the United States signifies the importance of placing employees at the center of cultural, perceptual and behavioral transformation.
In order to align Mazda’s corporate culture and brand through a cultural transformation of the workspace, employees needed the right tools and environment to enable the collaboration, innovative thinking and insights needed to expand the new brand direction and put the brand vision into practice.
Click through the photos below to learn more about the unique features and purpose of Mazda’s new North American headquarters.
“The new Mazda North American Operations headquarters is the implementation of a workplace strategy whose ultimate goal was to create a tangible experience of why we exist as a company - that we seek to energize people as a result of feeling our unique emotion signature of exhilaration, joy and well-being (what we call Hashiru Yorokobi in Japanese). This distinctive feeling enriches people towards their own goal of having positive impact on the world.”
- Masahiro Moro, Chairman & CEO,
Mazda North American Operations
1987 - TODAY
For almost 30 years, Mazda North American Operations occupied the first high-rise building built in Irvine, California. Construction of this building was completed in 1987, at the corner of Irvine Center Drive and Barranca Parkway, where the building still stands today. You can see the previous headquarters from the windows of the new location at 200 Spectrum Center Drive.
DISCOVERING A NEW HOME
Finding a location where Mazda could start with a blank sheet, and create a space that would embody the true essence of the brand, was a critical part of the process of upgrading the corporate headquarters. After watching new office developments go up across Irvine, Mazda discovered that a new building just down the road delivered a building layout, set-up, and existing amenities that were exactly what the company needed in a new office space.
THE 200 SPECTRUM CENTER DRIVE COMMUNITY
Mazda now occupies five floors, plus the lobby area of 426,000-square-foot building located in the Irvine Spectrum Center. The building offers 10 feet of floor-to-ceiling glass for natural lighting and an efficient floor plan for maximum flexibility. The vertical campus, which includes an open-air gathering place featuring casual workspaces, an outdoor living room and complimentary Wi-Fi, and a state-of-the-art onsite fitness center, is the only commercial office project in California, and one of four projects nationwide, to receive the “Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR” recognition from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification. The building is clad in modern, linen-finish stainless steel and high-performance floor-to-ceiling Viracon Glass for energy efficiency and maximum daylighting.
SKY-HIGH BRAND MARK
As part of the deal for the new office location, the Mazda brand mark was added to the top of the building—currently Irvine’s tallest— in August 2017. Two signs, weighing more than 3,800 pounds each, live on the North and South ends of the building.
FOCUSED ON THE EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE
The goal of the workplace transformation was to place the employees at the center of the cultural transformation of the brand. Through the process, cross-functional teams worked together to guide workplace strategy, development, design and implementation. More than 350 employees, who now reside in the new headquarters, participated in frequent surveys, beta-testing of technology and workstations, group voting opportunities for office chairs and laptops, and more, in the process of selecting how the new workspace would function. The process created an opportunity for Mazda to predict and project space utilization needs that would work for the needs of various employees and work groups within the organization.
CRAFTED BY DESIGN
The new Mazda offices were designed to express the character of the Mazda brand, building on quiet confidence through attention to detail and an elegant purity through ordered-complexity to all the aspects of the space. The lobby sits alongside the main building lobby, and mimics a gallery setting, welcoming guests to come and explore Mazda’s latest vehicles and well as artifacts that make Mazda unique. Open spaces, dramatically-framed outside vistas and gathering spaces create an inviting feeling consistent with the Mazda brand vision. It's with the same energy with which Mazda create cars, that they created a beautifully designed office space.
CENTERED AROUND COLLABORATION
Collaboration spaces are at the heart of the new headquarters. Cubicle walls have turned into low-walled open desk stations. With only 16 private offices, managers now sit alongside their teams, with equitable allocation of space, and equal access to shared private space. In addition to the updated workstations, Huddle Rooms, Focus Rooms, Think Tanks and Neighborhood Hubs line the interior of the building, offering daily options for adapting individual work environments. Mazda’s complimentary coffee shop called Caffé Three Waves—paying homage to Mazda’s unique culture originating from Hiroshima, Japan—offers a central location for employee to meet and talk.
TECHNOLOGY IS KING
When developing a new way for the team to approach the work day, Mazda felt it was important to make a significant investment in the technology across the business. Almost every employee now has a laptop, with desk phones embedded in the computer to remove the need to be tethered to a desk location. Employees can easily change their physical location, either sitting at a desk, in a common area, outside on the patio, in meeting rooms or in focus rooms. With the addition of flexible work locations, employees can pick their desk locations daily, based on their current work group. All spaces are fully wireless, documents are electronic, printing systems are cloud based, and technology works the same between campuses in Orange County.
A FEELING OF ‘HASHIRU YOROKOBI’
Mazda approached the interior design of the office the same way they approach designing vehicles, with the goal of creating a space that elicits the same unique feeling you get from seeing and driving Mazda cars. This design vision seeks to immerse people not only in the space, but in the brand itself. The feeling—what Mazda calls “Hashiru Yorokobi”—elicits exhilaration, joy and well-being. This is evident from the moment a person steps off the elevator through a Japanese lighting technique called “Komerebi,” a visual that is meant to mimic the light and shadows of sunlight through leaves. From the elevator bank, the office opens into an open space that leads to a view of the environment around them.