Photo of Daimler Trucks North America
Photo of Daimler Trucks North America
Photo of Daimler Trucks North America

Ⓒ Ryan Grady - AMA

Photo of Daimler Trucks North America
Photo of Daimler Trucks North America
Photo of Daimler Trucks North America

Daimler Trucks North America

Productivity Meets Sustainability

Founded in the Pacific Northwest over 70 years ago as Consolidated Freightways, Daimler Trucks North America has grown with Portland over the years. Their employees were spread out on a sprawling, disconnected campus, and they needed a central, state-of-the-art headquarters. One thing they already had: a prime riverfront location on Swan Island with Mt. Hood views, and a desire to create an iconic, sustainable new building. Continuing our more than a decade-long relationship, Ankrom Moisan designed an integrated campus that facilitates a transition from two existing buildings into one new waterfront headquarters. The finished, LEED Platinum headquarters promotes employee collaboration, wellness, and a sense of pride in the company’s powerful vehicles.

Portland, Oregon
  • 10 stories
  • 268,000 sq. ft.



Architecture , Interiors , Planning




Architecture: Michael Great

Interiors: Roberta Pennington

Architecture Story

A Corporate Headquarters with Environmental Focus

The design process began with an extended visioning exercise with DTNA’s “Mod Squad”—a cross-section of younger employees responsible for steering the culture in order to attract and retain the best talent. Over a six-week period, the team listened and helped identify the essence of DTNA, as well as what sets it apart from its global partner, Daimler Corporation. The result is a building shaped by the needs of the people who use it and a redefinition of a corporate culture. Inspired by these employee interviews, Ankrom Moisan’s team designed one of the most compelling aspects of the project: a lobby space built to accommodate and showcase vehicles from DTNA’s fleet. This concept was driven by employees acknowledging that they felt disconnected from Daimler’s final product. By creating a lobby space that serves as a stage for the trucks, the team aimed to inspire employees by reminding them of the quality products they help create. Designed from the inside out, the workplace interiors drove the architecture; the building’s depth and orientation allow for the best views and daylighting. Solid walls are perpendicular to the unitized curtain wall and terra cotta exterior system, and an off–set core allowed the team to fit more workstations along the river–facing windows. Closed rooms are placed in the center of the floor plate to avoid blocking sunlight and views to the outside. Internal departments at the company are large, often spanning two floors. So, we designed an open, interconnected stairway on every floor to keep them linked together. Large covered outdoor spaces at the ground floor dining area blur the lines of indoor and out to create visual and physical connections to the surrounding natural landscape. Seamlessly integrating technology and innovation while maintaining a commitment to the highest level of sustainability, the new Headquarters for Daimler Trucks North America promotes the health, well-being, and longevity of both its occupants and the environment. The LEED Platinum building is anticipated to produce 67% less carbon than the average U.S. office building. In addition to its orientation, the headquarters has many sustainable features that capitalize on natural light and energy produced by sun. Photovoltaic systems and solar thermal hot water heaters directly convert the sun’s rays into energy, while the interior layouts, chilled sails, radiant floors, and passive mechanical systems optimize daylighting to lessen the use of electric lighting and enhance the overall efficiency of the building. A 40% reduction in water use (or 800,000 gallons/year) is achieved using low flow plumbing fixtures. The irrigation water savings is 320,000 gallons per year or a 60% savings from a typical baseline case. Landscaping and a greenway path provide a natural route for storm water to enter the Willamette River watershed, so only surface parking lot storm water is directed to conventional city sewer infrastructure for treatment. Daimler achieved something only 1% of office buildings nationwide can claim: An Energy Star score of 99 out of 100.


Interior Story

Human-centered, Modern Workplaces

The process of designing the interior of the headquarters was about translating brand values, identity, and culture into a physical space. Our team’s long-standing relationship with the client allowed the designers to absorb the organization’s culture and business model, and the company was finally ready to shift direction and move into an open, collaborative workplace. The headquarters takes employees from a traditional office layout and places them in dynamic flexible workspaces that can be converted into conference rooms as needed. Research indicates that sitting in smaller groups of 12-20 people reinforces a sense of community, trust, and fosters innovation and collaboration. This idea influenced the office floorplans, which creates “neighborhoods.” Many different sizes of meeting spaces are offered, and collaborative areas in the middle of each team’s area allows for spontaneous discussion and interaction between employees.


Planning Story

Bringing People Together

Architecture Photo of Daimler Trucks North America

Ⓒ Ryan Grady - AMA

Daimler’s previous headquarters were sprawled out on Swan Island and separated by numerous buildings, parking lots, and public spaces. They already owned 10 buildings on this island on the Willamette River. We designed an integrated campus that facilitates a transition from two existing buildings into one new waterfront headquarters The indoor/outdoor connection was important—90% of inside spaces have views to the outside—and the project created its own walkable urban environment. Amenities and resources such as postal service, daycare, restaurants, and retail are located within walking distance from the office. Further walkability was created through the restoration of the adjacent greenway, giving employees and neighbors a waterfront trail. Significant landscaping improved the site storm water management and low flow plumbing fixtures to reduce impact of the city infrastructure for sewer treatment. Swan Island held host to the original Portland Airport from 1927 to 1940. Congress allowed the Port of Portland to connect the mainland to the island in order to create a runway. Our site fell in the spot that held said runway. Because of this, considerable soil remediation was necessary in order to remedy the fill used and create a solid foundation. Taking full advantage of the prime location along the Willamette River, the design team reconnected an underutilized public greenway trail along the riverfront. This not only enhances the location’s natural beauty but produces a usable outdoor space for employees and the public to enjoy. Our ongoing work within all their Swan Island buildings and phased campus work will continue to support the grown and future needs of the company.