Plant Expansion and Office Addition

Context Design Group designed an 80,000 sf expansion for Timken’s bearing plant in Walhalla, South Carolina.The project consists of a plant expansion, dining facility and office addition, and dock renovation. 


Manufacturing areas such as machine shop, heat treat, vibratory finishing, and assembly operations were enlarged by a combined 40%. The office addition accounts for 16,000 SF including 1,800 SF devoted to conference space and a stylized lobby.

Context’s unique architectural interpretation transformed the lobby from a bland integration into the showpiece of the facility. Though the increase in area was minimal, it became dramatic through the selection of materials and the language of the space.  The lobby creates a new axis independent of the existing facility and reaches toward the highway entrance, ever so slightly, shifting into the view of passers-by in either direction. In creating a bolder statement, the existing building envelope is left visible from within the lobby while the added elements of transparent and translucent glass, zinc clad wall, floor finishes, and supporting steel appear as distinct attachment. The monolithic enfronting wall clad in a floating zinc panel rainscreen system is the most elaborate detail of the design. Exposed steel beams finish the lobby design while establishing a plane which extends toward a multipiece product display and sculptural garden.

In honor of the vast record of the Walhalla plant and the Timken Company as a whole, a visually stimulating history relief mural carved in architectural glass will line the cafeteria.