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Mercedes-Benz of North America Selects Architectural Design For New U.S. Corporate Headquarters

24 December 1997

Mercedes-Benz of North America Selects Architectural Design For New U.S. Corporate Headquarters

    MONTVALE, N.J., Dec. 24 -- Mercedes-Benz of North America
(MBNA), Inc. today announced the winner of the architectural design
competition for its new corporate headquarters to be located in Pearl River,
NY.  The design, by Lauber + Woehr Architects of Munich, Germany, was one of
five concepts submitted to MBNA executive management after a seven-week design
process.
    Also participating in the design competition were Gensler (New York, NY)
in association with SNS Associated Architects & Engineers (Montvale, NJ); The
Hillier Group (Princeton, NJ); Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (New York, NY) and
Murphy/Jahn Inc, (Chicago, IL).
    Mercedes-Benz of North America's new headquarters will be contemporary,
cost-effective and convey an image commensurate with the dynamic brand and
quality products.  It will have a timeless character and create a
"fun-to-work" environment for the employees.
    According to Michael Bassermann, chairman and chief executive officer of
MBNA, "it was an excellent competition and all the design concepts offered
exciting possibilities.  However, the concept submitted by Lauber + Woehr
Architects was the best interpretation of our vision.  Their design offers a
spacious building that is engaging, flexible and humanistic all at the same
time."
    The new MBNA headquarters will be a three-story, single-use building of
approximately 400,000 square-feet.  The building, as designed by Lauber +
Woehr, is organized in wings that are 60-feet deep and separated by 30-foot
sky-lighted openings to ensure that all workspaces have an abundance of
natural light.  The design is modern in character, carefully detailed, low-key
and restrained.  A major feature will be an atrium space which will be used as
an informal meeting space for employees, for corporate and community events.
    Lauber + Woehr Architects was founded in 1990 in Munich, Germany, by
Ulrike Lauber and Wolfram Woehr, after a long period of international
activities.  Both architects had been associate partners of Richard Meier
(New York, NY).  The architectural office achieved worldwide experience
through numerous competitions where Lauber + Woehr designed, among other
projects, an innovative office complex with a human working environment for
the 'Vereinte Versicherungen' (German insurance company) in Munich, Germany,
and the American Business Center at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin, Germany.
Moreover Lauber and Woehr were involved in the design of the 'Potsdamer Platz'
in Berlin, Germany, having received a special prize and the construction order
for two apartment buildings and a cinema complex.
    To prepare itself for the century ahead, Mercedes-Benz of North America
has embarked on a mission to create its new, innovative state-of-the-art
corporate headquarters.  It will represent an investment of approximately
$50 million.  Groundbreaking is planned for the spring of 1998, and the
headquarters is expected to be operational by the fall of 1999.
    Mercedes-Benz of North America, Inc. markets Mercedes-Benz vehicles in the
United States and is responsible for sales, service and parts through its
network of 320 authorized Mercedes-Benz dealers.  MBNA expects to sell
115,000 vehicles in 1997, breaking 100,000 in annual volume for the first time
in its history.

SOURCE  Mercedes-Benz of North America