Ground-breaking ceremony for the new Leica Camera AG headquarters in Wetzlar

Yesterday Leica Camera AG officially started the construction of their future headquarters at the Leitz Park in Wetzlar, Germany. The new facility will have 88,500 square feet and should be completed in November 2013. The construction cost is 55 million euros.

Press release:

Solms, Germany (April 26, 2012) – Leica Camera AG commenced ground-breaking on a new headquarters at the Leitz Park in Wetzlar on April 25, 2012. Once complete, the new Schanzenfeld site will mark the company’s relocation from Solms. Attending the celebration were dignitaries from Salzburg’s ACM Projektentwicklung GmbH, the majority shareholder of the company, the board of Leica Camera AG and representatives from Leitz-Park GmbH, the project’s developers, in addition to Volker Bouffier (CDU), Prime Minister of the state of Hesse, members of the media and invited guests.

The plans, prepared by architectural firm Gruber + Kleine-Kraneburg, will bring forth an ultra-modern location for the production, administration and customer care divisions of Leica Camera AG in November 2013, with a projected ground-plan area of around 27,000 m² (approximately 290,625 ft²). The new site, built in accordance with the latest energy-efficiency standards, will then be a new home to around 600 Leica employees. Openly visible production areas, a Leica Museum, a Leica Galerie, a Leica Store, a photo studio and a restaurant expand the spectrum of engaging features for visitors, friends of Leica and anyone fascinated by photography. A central plaza will create a binding 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 overall investment volume for the Leitz Park construction project amounts to 55 million euros.

‘Leica Camera AG is a traditional Hessian company with a worldwide reputation for excellence. We can be proud that a company so important in the optical industry maintains its manufacturing and administrative facilities in our state,’ said Volker Bouffier, Prime Minister of the state of Hesse. ‘With the new company headquarters in Wetzlar, Leica remains loyal to its Hessian origins. I am certain that the company’s employees will ensure that Leica will continue to be an internationally renowned name that is always equated with the highest quality.’

‘The Leitz Camera set out from here to conquer the world and 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,’ added Dr. Andreas Kaufmann from ACM Projektentwicklung GmbH, emphasizing the signal sent out to the world for the ‘Optical City’ of Wetzlar by the new headquarters project. ‘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,’ stated 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.’

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  • Nobody Special

    Big plans for a production facility a year and seven months away. I am really wondering/waiting to see just what it is they will or are planning to produce.

    Of course, it is possible that they are just planning to stay conservative and push the Chinese market. Showing a bunch of fancy new product before you have your facilities up and completely running would be a neat trick…..but this is Leica we are talking about…. Where promises lead the way and the reality lags s l o w l y behind.

  • Al

    Good to see that work has indeed started on the new campus. The first time I learned of the move back to Wetzlar was during Photokina 2008:

    http://flic.kr/p/5DinHp
    http://flic.kr/p/5DnEXY

  • fritz

    Do these poor men and women have no qualified personnel to carry out the digging properly?

  • bananacam

    That’s weird, I don’t see any pipes in their mockups.
    Don’t tell me they’re going to build b&w cameras in a fancy place with central heating and double glazed windows…

  • http://dcp.so Dan

    Horrible architecture. Surely they could have made a little reference to the M top plate or something. Looks so generic and mundane.

  • Harold Ellis

    hopefully they will not find bodies diggin’ too deep in there…

    local knows why the place was so cheap

  • Leica Liker (ewangle

    I’m excited about the ground breaking. But the architecture is terrible. I would expect Leica, a company that has elegant camera and lens designs as well as understated and elegant stores, to build a symbol of elegance, function and style. But instead, the building looks like a mOdern day barracks.

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