Substance Architecture


Lely North America

Pella, Iowa

The 108,000 square foot Lely North America facility is the first phase of a planned Lely Campus, set in a restored prairie south of Pella, Iowa. Lely is widely recognized for its ground-breaking innovations through a vision of “Creating a Sustainable, Profitable and Enjoyable Future In Farming.” Land stewardship is at the heart of the company and the project; the site is at the headwaters of the Muchakinock Creek watershed and the landscape is designed to infiltrate and slow rainfall as it filters through the prairie, detention pond, and eventually to the South Skunk River.

The precast concrete and glass structure provides assembly space and serves as a distribution hub for robotics that support the North American dairy industry. Naturally lit offices and meeting spaces, as well as a state-of-the-art training facility for use by employees and Lely’s distribution partners throughout North America, are visually connected to the factory floor and to the rolling landscape. A shared café and collaboration spaces overlooking the prairie serve all employees and connect to the landscape via a system of walking trails. An elemental material palette of burnished concrete, white ash, glass, and graphics depicting historical patent drawings reflect a common value system emphasizing efficiency, legacy, and a bright horizon.

The project was awarded Silver LEED Certification in 2022 by the U.S. Green Building Council.


Excellence in Concrete Award - Sustainable Practices, 2022
Iowa Ready Mixed Concrete Association


Iowa Architect, Spring 2023 - Vol 2 Issue 3
Iowa Architect, Spring 2021

© 2023 substance architecture. All rights reserved.