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Kia headquarters wins lifetime achievement design award

The recognition from Architectural Record honors companies for innovation in custom-designed facilities

by Kristina WongPublished: May 01, 2012 09:25 AM

Kia Motors America (KMA), the nation’s fastest growing car manufacturer, has been honored with the 2012 “Good Design is Good Business Lifetime Achievement Award” by Architectural Record for the KMA Corporate Headquarters and Kia Design Center America (KDCA) in Irvine. The automaker joins seven other companies in the rank for the award’s 15th year celebration.  

Formerly known as the BusinessWeek and Architectural Record Award, the Good Design is Good Business Award recognizes innovative architectural design of state-of-the-art facilities across the nation whose planning aids in the company furthering its goals. The judging standards consisted of criteria including sustainability, work environment, employee recruitment, retention, performance and productivity, branding, culture, development of new work tools, and space for other amenities.

This year’s winners were presented at the 2012 Accent on Architecture Gala on March 9 at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington D.C., hosted by the American Architectural Foundation. The honorees will be featured in the May issue of Architectural Record Magazine next month.

“As the fastest growing automotive brand in the U.S., Kia is committed to providing cutting-edge vehicles with world-class design, and our Corporate Headquarters and Design Center reflect that same philosophy,” stated John Yoon, vice president of Human Resources/Administration and General Counsel of Kia Motors America. “The corporate campus symbolizes innovation through leading architectural design, as well as Kia’s ongoing commitment to the US market, which has led to our record-breaking sales and market share increases.”

The Kia Motors facility features a 21.7-acre campus designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, with an investment of $130 million. With the 239,000-square-foot modern headquarters that includes two administrative office and research buildings connected by a glass ceiling and steel entry and an open space for vehicle display, there is also a 36,000-square-foot reflecting pool with amazing scenic views. The 100,700-square-foot design center for the motor company consists of design and modeling studios, a milling shop, a 2D and 3D presentation room, a color and trim room, a wood and metal shop, a paint booth, a recreation room and research library, multiple conference rooms, an outdoor courtyard, and an underground garage.  

The Kia Motors U.S. Irvine corporate campus first opened in June 2008. Kia was also one of the first companies in Irvine to voluntarily install a bioswale system in the parking lot, which will remove any silt and pollution that come from the surface water. The campus is able to hold 600 full-time employees, and also houses a workout facility, an on-site cafeteria and lunchroom, and a multi-purpose room in the lobby. Not only is the Kia Motor campus modern in its creative design, but the corporate campus is also eco-friendly, with its architecture and landscaping features that meet the California Energy Commission’s energy efficiency standards.

“Kia Motors’ U.S. corporate campus proves that thoughtful, rational design can be a powerful engine for business growth and talent retention,” explained Design Partner of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Brian Lee.  “The project exemplifies SOM’s commitment to provide our clients with high-performance design that adds value to their brand and expresses their corporate identity.”

Joining Kia Motors America Research and Development Headquarters for the Good Design is Good Business Award, include winners: GE Renewable Energy Global in Schenectady, NY, Verve Seabright Roastery/Verve Pacific Avenue Café in Santa Cruz, CA, Missouri Bank in Kansas City, 1300 Highland Avenue in Manhattan Beach, CA, Facebook Data Center in Pineville, Oregon, Starbucks Cafés at various locations, and 200 Fifth Avenue in New York City.

In addition to the Good Design is Good Business Award, Kia’s Irvine facility was previously honored with the Outstanding Building of the Year Award by the Orange County chapter of the Building Owners and Managers Association, an Award of Excellence from the American Institute of Architects’ Orange County chapter, and the 2009 International Architecture Awards List for Best New Global Design, presented by the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design and Metropolitan Arts Press Ltd.

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