Rimac designed its new utopian headquarters around employees and not cars

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Ten years ago Mate Rimac had no idea that the newly formed company bearing his name would end up supplying Porsche and Hyundai, becoming synonymous with another Accident de Richard Hammond, or grow so fast that it would have to build a new $ 238 million campus for 2,500 employees outside Croatia’s capital, Zagreb. Rimac has gone from struggling to pay employees to a shining example of Croatia’s new industry, and now he plans to build a factory that lives up to his reputation.

(Full disclosure: Rimac invited me to participate in a Teams call to talk about their new headquarters project last week. Some of the quotes from this interview have been edited for clarity. Mate Rimac seemed like a really nice guy.)

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photo: Rimac cars

Mate Rimac, now aware that his business is an important part of his country’s future economy, carefully explained the approach to building a new headquarters during a video call last week. The new HQ couldn’t just be a nasty cuboid with a logo slapped in the corner.

“We work day and night. We work our asses. I want people to be able to enjoy every little moment they have between meetings or when they need to catch their breath or whatever to enjoy their time. Don’t go crazy just be in the office all day. I think it’s the right thing to do to spend time in nature, ”Rimac said on the call.

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photo: Rimac cars

This means that he is going to come with a fairly traditional factory, for the painting and assembly of electric batteries and Rimac supercars. But the company also has a lot more planned for the space.

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photo: Rimac cars

For the young leader, the new articulation had to be a place that employees and their families could use and interact with, rather than a place just to be looked at and admired from afar, or a building to be seen as a product itself. . .

“For example, McLaren, I really respect the company and they have a great campus. But it’s designed so that people don’t mess it up, ”Rimac added,“ We ​​really want to design something around people, give them the best place to work and [Architects 3LHD] all inclusive in terms of requirements and so on. They haven’t tried to make a monument for themselves, but actually something that works for the business. And it was magnificent. I think it was absolutely the right choice.

Design-wise, Croatian architectural firm 3LHD got the job, but it wasn’t an easy walk for the local boys. Rimac assembled a huge team to make sure whoever gets the best job is right for the project and the region.

“We had an international competition. There were really some of the best architects in the world, I would say. I didn’t think of many people that some Croats would be the best. But we made it pretty professional. We had a jury. Marta was one of the jury members. But we also had a jury of independent members, like construction people, to say how feasible or expensive it is. We had people from the city.

“We’re trying to do something bigger here, not just build our business. But I also try to be patriotic all the way and attract other companies to come here. Unfortunately, there is very, very little foreign investment that is unrelated to tourism. “

Renderings make the new HQ look like an otherworldly utopian compound, like something from a Mass Effect game. A few features are worth mentioning specifically: to begin with, the company’s test track will be public access, according to the Rimac, “There is a [test] Track. Perhaps a key element is fully integrated with nature and open to the public. It will probably be the only automotive R&D facility without a fence, because we as a company are very, very open.

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photo: Rimac cars

This track has a special turn: “One of these turns is called a mandatory drift turn. So when you cross it, you have to drift. You can not do it normally. ”

Rimac will also try to keep sheep and geese alive on campus, as the architectural firm has apparently determined that they are well suited for maintaining themselves in “nature.” This thing without a fence could get out of hand.

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photo: Rimac cars

Human guests visiting for an evening will be accommodated in one of the on-site guest rooms. Except that it is not really a room, but rather an apartment in the forest. “It’s like glamping, let’s say,” Rimac quipped. Although probably not the kind of glamping that involves a chemical toilet in a wicker shed.

While pets are not welcome indoors, employee spawning will be more than welcome in Kindergarten.

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photo: Rimac cars

Rimac does not plan to leave the new site when more space is needed. He said if the need arose, there would be more standard and square sites built to accommodate battery and powertrain production, but the new campus would become the long-term home of the ‘business. Much of Rimac’s call was about the importance of supporting the local and national community.

There is not much industry in Croatia apart from hotels, tourism and hospitality. Rimac hopes the new facility will attract more business and attention to the country, and help the country’s public relations to some more.

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photo: Rimac cars

The proposed Rimac plant, and the current one, is a big problem: “When there’s a foreign visit, some kind of high-level state visit, they go to the government and they bring them to our country. business. Even now, when there is no campus. What can they show them? We are the showcase of the industry, of the country. So it will have a much bigger impact on students and universities, visitors and the general profile of Croatia. “

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photo: Rimac cars

Rimac didn’t know this was where his business would be 10 years ago, but he was hopeful: “There is a Facebook status that I wrote eight years ago in 2012 or 13. I used to cycle through this 15th century castle. I said, “I have this crazy dream, which doesn’t make any sense, and the odds of it happening are probably zero percent. But why not build the production facility next to the castle and have some offices in the castle and stuff like that? I didn’t think we would reach such a level as we are today. But that same idea stuck in my mind and we continued to work on it. So now it’s the campus project.

Although the castle is no longer officially factored into the company’s ground plan for the HQ, the land behind this alleged castle is the area where Rimac is indeed in the process of making his new home. This crazy dream has come true, and now Rimac will have the castle to watch during lunch breaks.

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