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Nissan Design Takes on Architecture

When is a building like a car?

When is a building like a car? When automotive designers were involved in creating the concepts for the exterior and interior, as was the case for the new Nissan North American headquarters building located just outside of Nashville, TN, a $100-million, 460,000 ft.2 facility. Bruce Campbell, vice president of design for Nissan Design America says, “We were involved very early on and gave the architects a vision for both the outside and inside of the building. There were four concepts that we presented and I had to coach the architects on how to make a presentation for the final concept to our executives, much like we do for a car program. In the end, one of our pen sketches won out.” Campbell says his design team wanted to infuse the building with “Nissan DNA,” which he says promotes clarity, openness and collaboration. For example, each floor has a “town center,” where employees procure their office supplies, along with spaces for snack and coffee bars—there are even wipe boards on the walls for employees to use to aid in their communication with one another. Extra-wide staircases between floors are designed to foster conversation between employees on different floors. Nissan’s interior trim and color design group were enlisted to layout the office spaces and select carpet colors and textures. “We wanted to create something that helped to connect people and foster ideas, not develop another building that’s just a sea of gray,” says Brenda Parkin, color and material manager at Nissan Design America.–KMK