Harley-Davidson University

TKWA has provided design services to the Harley-Davidson Motor Company for a variety of projects, both at their Milwaukee headquarters and throughout the United States. Work at the HD Corporate Headquarters has been ongoing for over ten years and exceeds 500,000 square feet of new construction and renovation with a construction value exceeding $20 million.

Harley Davidson University is a corporate training facility located at the historic Juneau Avenue facility. Key project components included advanced-technology conference and classroom spaces, as well as motorcycle repair training labs and retail spaces for dealership training.

As with all TKWA projects for Harley-Davidson, a critical focus was placed on designing to reflect a global brand, and providing cost-effective, brand-focused design solutions.


Milwaukee, WI


49,700 sf


Completed 1998

Authentic, durable materials were used that complement the Harley-Davidson image, are sympathetic to the historic context and meet the demands of the facility.  Such materials include floors of stained and sealed concrete that is reminiscent of the road. The floor in the Mock Dealership is made of end-grain Douglas fir reflecting the flooring used in the original factory building. Authentic, 1000-lb. capacity hoist beams in OSHA safety yellow were also installed. Many historic objects and materials found on-site were adapted and reused in the new design such as the original power generators, industrial work benches and storage crates.

Throughout the facility, circulation was split into motorcycle moving areas and people moving areas. Classrooms and labs are visible from the circulation paths so that all activities may be observed, creating an immediacy and connection to the motorcycles themselves. In addition, the labs are purposefully not sound-proofed so that the sound of motorcycles can be heard in other areas – the sound of the Harley-Davidson engine is a strong part of the company culture. 

1999 AIA Merit Award
American Institute of Architects, Wisconsin