Vision of a modern working world is becoming a reality
Construction work on the new SMS group Campus in Mönchengladbach, Germany, has been officially kicked off with a groundbreaking ceremony.
Hans Wilhelm Reiners, Mayor of Mönchengladbach; Heinrich Weiss, Chairman of the Shareholders' Committee of SMS Holding GmbH; Burkhard Dahmen, CEO of SMS group GmbH; Torsten Heising, Member of the Managing Board of SMS group GmbH; and Works Council Chairpersons Elke Paul (Düsseldorf) and Peter Peskes (Mönchengladbach) broke ground together with project manager Marco Kubiak, and architect and general planner Holger P. Hartmann.
Mönchengladbach will be home to a new technology, service and digitalization center built on the SMS premises and providing 1,500 modern workplaces. As from 2023, the competences of five locations in the region will be brought together at this central location in the Rhineland. Today, the company already has over 1,200 employees in Mönchengladbach.
With its innovative Campus, SMS will be able to exploit the full catalyst effect from the growth areas of service and digitalization to expand its pioneering role as a technology provider, explains CEO Burkhard Dahmen: ‟We see huge growth potential from the interaction of technical service and digital solutions. Our Campus will enable us to connect these technologies closely with our product units, bringing together specialists from all over the world to form interdisciplinary teams via virtual infrastructures.”
With the start of the construction work for the new Campus, SMS is setting a new milestone just ahead of the company's 150th anniversary. ‟One of the reasons our company has become the world market leader in metallurgical plant engineering is because we are a reliable partner for our customers and, as a family business, take special care of our employees,” emphasizes Heinrich Weiss. ‟With this new complex we are providing a significantly enhanced working environment, making us an extremely attractive employer for future talent.”
With a modern space concept, the company aims to create an atmosphere that promotes creative and collaborative work, explains Torsten Heising, Member of the Managing Board of SMS: ‟Our recent experience with various forms of mobile working options has shown us that we can actually get our work done wherever we are. For creative processes, though, we still need a shared environment that makes us feel inspired. The open architecture of the new Campus promotes living our corporate culture and enables us as an employer to take into special consideration what our highly skilled workforce expects from a modern workplace.” SMS is currently working with its employees to develop the workplace of the future – including for its location in Hilchenbach. A corresponding employee survey is already underway. The results from this survey will flow into the design of the interior layout and the infrastructure.
The SMS Campus will cover a gross surface area of around 44,000 square meters and consist of five module buildings. The core of the complex will be a covered atrium serving as a meeting and communication area. A membrane-type roof with a diameter of 82 meters will connect all buildings to create a unique campus.
An adjoining staff car park will offer sufficient parking space for cars, motor cycles, and bicycles. It will be equipped with charging stations for electric cars and bicycles. Given the future investments in the infrastructure of the immediate neighborhood by the city of Mönchengladbach, the whole district will be upgraded and the new Campus will become well connected with the local public transport system.
At the groundbreaking ceremony, one could already get an impression of the dimensions of the future Campus from the ring-shaped area of removed ground. In the coming months, around 70,000 cubic meters of soil will be removed, with shell construction work for the five module buildings due to start in the spring of 2021. The shell construction will be completed as early as by the summer of 2022. The Campus will be ready for occupancy in mid/end-2023.
SMS group is a group of companies internationally active in plant construction and mechanical engineering for the steel and nonferrous metals industry. It has some 14,000 employees who generate worldwide sales of more than EUR 2.9 billion. The sole owner of the holding company SMS GmbH is the Familie Weiss Foundation.
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