Friedrichshafen. On Tuesday, ZF Friedrichshafen AG opened its new headquarters in Friedrichshafen. Baden-Württemberg Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann and Chairman of the Supervisory Board Professor Giorgio Behr participated in the opening ceremony. The building, dubbed 'ZF Forum', offers a unique combination of offices for up to 700 employees, a fully equipped training center and an exhibition on the past, present and future of ZF. The exhibition is open to the public at certain times.
“The automotive industry is facing the most radical transformation in its 130-year history. Not only is the technology changing fast, but also is the way in which we work. The ZF Forum helps make the world of work at ZF more digital, more efficient and more flexible,” said ZF Chief Executive Officer Dr. Stefan Sommer during the opening ceremony in front of some 250 guests from government, industry and society. “With this building, we can now offer our employees state-of-the-art offices. On top of that, we provide the general public and our customers with insights into our company and our vision of mobility of the future.”
“The new ZF Forum is an important investment in Friedrichshafen and its entire region,” said Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann. “The building is not just a huge architectural achievement, but also provides a glimpse of the urbanistic future for Friedrichshafen. A surface area inside the city has been used and redeveloped in exemplary fashion. The openness of the ZF Forum is just great and it's very impressive that the offices are so well equipped for the digital age.”
“The decision to build the ZF Forum in the heart of the city is an important signal for Friedrichshafen,” said First Mayor Andreas Brand. “ZF is thus demonstrating its firm roots at the location. At the same time, it also becomes clear that the city, the Zeppelin Foundation and ZF are inseparably linked.” The ZF Forum will provide important impetus for the economic development of the city, Brand is in no doubt: “The future of mobility becomes visible and tangible in this building.”
The ZF Forum took over three-and-a-half years to build; the groundbreaking ceremony was held on February 5, 2013. ZF has invested over €90 million in the building designed by Stuttgart-based architect Professor Wolfgang Kergaßner. It comprises offices, an exhibition space on the ground floor, a conference level, an auditorium seating 350 and a staff restaurant. In addition, the ZF Forum provides rooms for the Knowledge Workshop (Wissenswerkstatt) Friedrichshafen, a teaching and learning facility for children and youngsters, and the Students' Research Center South Württemberg (SFZ). Training of employees and business partners is equally important in the ZF Forum. The east wing houses training facilities for ZF Technical Training, which allows users to work hands-on with ZF products. A workshop with a truck or bus for training purposes is also located in this wing.
The ZF Forum conforms to the latest structural engineering and energetic standards. It has been designed in such a way that the specified power consumption values have been undercut by more than 20 percent. ZF has set up a gas-fired combined heat and power plant in the adjacent Plant 1 to provide heat and electricity.
During the opening weeks, the exhibition on the ground floor of the ZF Forum is open to the public from November 23, 2016 through to January 6, 2017, daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Guided exhibition tours are offered regularly during this period. Afterwards, the exhibition will normally be open to the public on Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., starting January 8, 2017. Further information is available for visitors at: www.zf.com/zfforum .