Toyota and Mazda’s Divergent Paths Both End at a New North American Headquarters

By Samantha Schwirck

Automakers are relocating their North American headquarters left and right. Over the past year or so, Mercedes-Benz found a new home base in Atlanta; Subaru settled in Camden, NJ; and just a few years after Cadillac moved from Detroit to New York City, the company announced plans to return back home.

For lighting professionals, these moves present business opportunities. Two examples: Mazda and Toyota’s new North American HQs. While Toyota set up a 2.1-million sq ft campus in Plano, TX, and Mazda moved into five levels of an urban highrise in Irvine, CA, both projects were completed in 2017, both earned 2018 IES Illumination Awards of Merit, and both went on to receive LEED certifications. The following exploration, however, shows how the projects’ commonalities all but stop there.


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Mazda North American Headquarters
Irvine, CA

Size did not have the same impact on the design for Mazda’s new North American HQ in Irvine, CA. Instead, lighting designers Rebecca Ceballos and Tanya Flores from local firm LPA, Inc., focused on delivering an on-brand experience within the confines of 97,000 sq ft.

“Mazda really wanted to go back to their Japanese cultural roots and have an homage to where they came from,” says Ceballos. “The headquarters very much pulled on that Japanese relation, which meant simple lines, very clean, and the lighting needed to not distract from but complement the interior design.”

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