Yazaki Corporation

Experienced-based showroom and meeting center

What if . . .
a leading global automotive supplier wanted to convert a 165-foot long wooden boat into a showcase for their innovative products and Advanced Technologies?

Yazaki Corporation is a leading global automotive supplier that provides electronics, instrumentation and electrical wiring products to car companies around the world. “Genesprit” is a large wooden ship suspended inside of the glass atrium of Yazaki’s North American regional headquarters in Canton, Michigan — a nod to the company’s culture of adventure and technological discovery.

For the last 20 years, “Genesprit” housed Yazaki’s technical information libraries. Recently however, the company felt that the iconic wooden ship was being under-utilized. Yazaki tabbed EWI to help re-imagine the ship as an engaging, experienced-based showroom and meeting center.

EWI designers, engineers and production experts worked together to provide Yazaki with a thoughtful, efficient, realistic solution to their challenge. EWI strategists worked with a small team from Yazaki to understand what they needed from the space, and then the EWI team executed design, engineering, production, and installation — completely repurposing and rebranding the space.

The ship’s architecture posed a few interesting challenges, as designing for the inside of the ship’s curved hull is quite different than designing in a traditional rectilinear space. At the outset of the project, EWI spent considerable time on-site, creating accurate, detailed blueprints of the space and finding ways to incorporate existing millwork and cabinetry into the new designs (conserving budget and accelerating renovation).

Today, 20 years after first docking at the North American Headquarters, “Genesprit” now serves as a multi-tiered gathering space that adapts to the needs of diverse company events including customer visits, sales meetings, and HR training and new employee orientation.

The main showroom is anchored by a large conference table with cutting-edge A/V support. Yazaki’s products are showcased in a logical, systematic way, allowing users to intuitively guide themselves through Yazaki’s innovative product portfolio. Large graphics explain product stories and provide context, which helps visitors envision new design opportunities. Hospitality design elements like a refrigerator and snack space encourage extended collaboration while storage lockers and trash receptacles are subtly and unobtrusively integrated into the space. The updated area also features spaces for smaller break-out meetings, employee recognition walls, and a secondary meeting room (protected by frosted acrylic) where Yazaki Advanced R&D projects and technology concepts can be securely displayed and private meetings can be held.

"Yazaki tells us that they continue to be inspired by the space we created inside of the boat. The unique form factor and dynamic, adaptable nature of the space make for an impactful, bespoke experience for visitors of all kinds. We’ve been told over and over that EWI “did it right” with this project."

- Kim Madonia

  EWI Account Director