- CEO Dr. Elmar Degenhart: ”The new headquarters is a symbol of our long-term focus on the future”
- On track: Completion scheduled to coincide with the company‘s anniversary in 2021
- The new headquarters is based on openness and networking, agile and flexible teamwork, and communication across departments
Hanover, November 6, 2019. The future is taking shape: 15 months after the ground-breaking ceremony, on Wednesday Continental held the topping-out ceremony for its new corporate headquarters on Hans-Böckler-Allee in Hanover. During the ceremony, Continental CEO Dr. Elmar Degenhart expressed his satisfaction with the progress of construction: “We are right on schedule. The plan is to have our new headquarters ready for occupancy in time for the company‘s 150th anniversary in 2021.” The 300 or so guests included Lower Saxony’s Minister President Stephan Weil, the First City Councilor and Director of Economic and Environmental Affairs of the City of Hanover, Sabine Tegtmeyer-Dette, along with planners and numerous workers from the participating construction companies and Continental employees.
The new Continental Campus is located at the eastern entrance to the state capital Hanover, on two sites north and south of Hans-Böckler-Allee near the Pferdeturm. In the first stage of development, the eight interconnected buildings will offer space for 1,250 employees, with scope for subsequent expansion to 1,600 workstations. The current corporate headquarters on Vahrenwalder Strasse only has space for around 900 employees and has become too small in recent years due to the company‘s strong growth.
“The new corporate headquarters is a symbol of our long-term focus on the future. That’s why we’re putting a lot of energy not only into building our new headquarters but also into remodeling our organizational structure and processes. This will make us more decentralized in our decision-making and more agile in the future. Through our solutions and efforts, we are designing the healthy mobility ecosystem. This type of mobility is clean, secure and intelligently networked,” explained Degenhart.
“We have the same goals for our work culture and our new headquarters. We are offering a creative and healthy working environment in a sustainably built campus. With this and much more besides, we are helping to create a friendly climate across the board: friendly to the environment, a friendly working atmosphere and a friendly relationship with Hanover and the surrounding area,” Degenhart continued.
“Continental’s new corporate headquarters is a clear commitment to Lower Saxony and the state capital. It is already clear that an exciting complex of buildings is being created here that will facilitate modern forms of working and inspirational development. I’m already looking forward to our first automotive industry strategy dialog workshop at Continental’s new corporate headquarters,” said Minister President Weil.
“Over its almost 150-year history, Continental has set major milestones in Hanover purely with its headquarters and constantly opened up new development opportunities for the city. The impressive building that served as the first corporate headquarters now houses the Office for Economic Development. The corporate headquarters built in the 1950s is now part of the University of Hanover. Since the 1990s, the current corporate headquarters has been located in a set of impressive repurposed factory buildings at the company‘s historical headquarters. The new Continental Campus is built with strong structural features that fit perfectly into our cosmopolitan, trade fair city and further underscore the company’s close ties with Hanover,” stressed Hanover's First City Councilor Tegtmeyer-Dette.
The new corporate headquarters were designed by Munich-based architecture firm Henn. The central design concept is a bridge system that connects the buildings of the new Continental Campus. The central element of the design is a high-level access path, known as the Loop, which will be visible as a bridge over Hans-Böckler-Allee. “The loop symbolizes communication and cooperation. As a dynamic spatial continuum, it brings all employees together on the same level in a horizontal hierarchy and connects the individual buildings with each other,” says architect Henn when explaining the basic concept.
The work environment in the new headquarters will be based on an open-space design throughout, featuring state-of-the-art technical equipment. Openness and interconnectedness in the office space will encourage not only agile and flexible teamwork but also communication across departments. Continental has set up a test space – the Workspace Lab – on the plant premises at the current corporate headquarters. It simulates the spatial concept, complete with all planned furnishings. Employees have had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with their future work environment for several months now. The test space will remain available to employees right up until the move.
The new headquarters will also offer green spaces, a health center and an in-house day-care center, further aspects to help employees achieve a healthy work-life balance. The site will also offer sufficient parking spaces for cars and bicycles in two parking garages.
One of the defining elements of the new headquarters is a 71-meter column-free bridge connecting the northern and southern campuses across Hans-Böckler-Allee. The construction of this bridge, originally planned for this fall, is now scheduled for spring 2020. The delay to the bridge will not affect the progress of the other construction on the site.