Valeo Thermal Systems
Auburn Hills, MI

120,000 SF • 11,150 SQ M

This facility for a major automotive systems manufacturer brings five corporate divisions together under one roof and encourages team-oriented work. Extensive transparency throughout the building showcases Valeo’s technical and research capacities and promotes interdepartmental awareness and access. The rectangular volume of the building is divided into conference facilities, engineering teams, and testing laboratories. The latter two interlock in plan to encourage collaboration. Double-height spaces with open stairs connect the two building levels. Throughout, light is treated as a shared resource.

The glassy exterior opens up the building to the landscape, while an oversailing canopy of sunshades protects against glare and solar heat gain. The most public façade displays a high-bay testing area containing custom manufactured equipment. The cafeteria overlooks a garden and the glass box lobby exhibits vehicles containing Valeo components.

Davis Brody Bond resolved security concerns while maintaining overall transparency.  Public and staff enter through a single point, and visitor conference rooms are located outside the secure employee zone. Where needed for acoustical privacy, glass partitions are double layered.  Service loading has direct access to laboratories while confidential prototype vehicles are delivered to a black box holding area. Beta testing rooms along the east façade are clad in metal panels to match the module of the glass.

Valeo’s custom, high-tech look was achieved with careful use of stock glazing systems and off-the-shelf construction components. This design strategy both addressed the project budget and allowed for a streamlined construction period.