Posts tagged with "Ford":
A star is on the horizon: Situated roughly 30 miles north of Dallas, Frisco Independent School District (ISD), one of the fastest growing school districts in the U.S., is home to more than 54,000 students across 68 schools, with eight more schools planned to open before 2019.
To accommodate this rapid growth, Gensler designed a 25-acre complex comprising a 300,000-square-foot office building, 300-room hotel, and a 12,000-seat indoor stadium known as the Ford Center. Totaling $1.5 billion, the project is known officially as “The Star in Frisco” and is part of the area’s larger 91-acre mixed-use development.
Gensler’s scheme has been hotly anticipated by the local community. The Ford Center’s inaugural event, which saw four football games between teams from Frisco’s ISD on August 27, was sold out a week in advance.
Emblazoned with the Dallas Cowboys’ signature blue—conveniently similar to that of Ford’s—the indoor athletic facility will be used by the NFL team, the City of Frisco, and Frisco ISD’s eight high schools. With a clearance of 94 feet and offering football-shaped locker rooms to be used by both high schoolers and professional football players, it is the only NFL training facility in the country that is shared with the public.
Project architect and Gensler associate Scott Armstrong said that the venue was “always going to be indoors in order to provide flexibility,” and to create a “multi-use event space.” As a result, visitors can expect a vibrant atmosphere at events as sound reverberates around the space. Given the stadium’s parabolic roof, Armstrong also highlighted the extensive gutter system that spans the perimeter to capture water runoff.
Unlike most NFL and high school sports arenas, fans can enter the venue through the same side. “Everybody’s a home team here at this stadium,” principal at Gensler Ted Kollaja told the Dallas News. “We wanted to ceremonially bring them all through the front door together.”
Sitting in the middle of the 25-acre area, the Ford Center will be joined by offices and a “War Room” (a space for football tactics to be discussed) to its right, and an Omni Hotel, retail, and restaurant space to its left. Directly in front of the arena will be a public plaza, complete with a football field (one of three outdoor fields in the complex), which will bridge the surrounding typologies at a pedestrian level.
Present throughout Gensler’s project is the theme of openness. In the office complex, a five-story atrium connects the main lobby and entrance to the football field on the opposite side. Aligned with the 50-yard line, the feature provides what Armstrong described as the “wow factor” for the site while also emphasizing the notion of “walkability” within the general area.
The hotel, known as the “Omni Frisco Hotel” will boast a 13,000-square-foot ballroom, as well as 24,000 square feet of meeting and event space. The luxury hotel will also offer a rooftop pool deck with a bar and grill overlooking the open plaza and main entrance to the Ford Center.
The 25-acre development is due to be complete in fall 2017, though the Ford Center is currently up and running. As for the overall 91-acre scheme, Armstrong said that this “will phase into competition at various times throughout the next few years.”
When Ford Motor Company took stock of its current 60-year-old Dearborn, Michigan, facilities, it became clear that the only way forward would be to take a big leap into two new high-tech campuses. Spearheading the master plans is the Detroit office of SmithGroupJJR. When completed, the estimated $1.2 billon, ten-year project will involve moving 30,000 employees from 70 buildings into a Product Campus and a Headquarters Campus. Throughout the project, the entire campus will also have to stay 100 percent operational.
One of Ford’s primary goals will be to improve the health and well-being of its employees. To do so, SmithGroupJJR has incorporated the seven concepts of the WELL Building Standard, a matrix that addresses air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mental and emotional health of employees. The 7.5 million square feet of new and remodeled workspace will include ample natural light, diverse workstation configurations, social hubs, and various sizes of collaborative workspaces. These workspaces will add up to one conference room or meeting space for every seven workers. The campus will include walkable paths between buildings, green spaces, cafes, and on-site fitness centers.
“The premise is we are doing buildings that are flexible enough that however they choose to work and collaborate, whether by project team or skill team or a combination of both, that the facility would support different types of organization,” explained SmithGroupJJR principal Carl Roehling, describing how the design was developed with Ford’s changing work model in mind. “We are allowing them to evolve into it and change the way they are working by getting the buildings out of the way of their changing organization.”
Sustainability is also a major concern for Ford, as it sees the campus as a part of its larger push to rethink the company and its products. The design calls for a minimum Silver certification through the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design process as well as LEED Gold certification. A new Sustainability Showcase building on the Product Campus will be net-zero waste, net-zero energy, and net-zero water. Geothermal heating and cooling and solar-power generation mean the building will be able to produce more energy than it uses. As a whole, the campuses will reduce Ford’s energy consumption by 50 percent over its current Dearborn spaces.
Not only will the campus utilize the latest technology to achieve its sustainable goals, the campus itself will be used as a testing ground for Ford’s latest designs and development. In a shift from being a dedicated auto company, Ford has launched the Ford Smart Mobility plan. The plan aims to investigate connectivity, mobility, technology, customer experience, and big data. As part of the investigation, 25 global experiments have been launched, including three in Dearborn. The experiments will include Dearborn employees testing rapid charging and car sharing, big-data collection, and a car-swap program. As Ford’s main research and development facilities, the campuses will also have access to the latest in autonomous vehicles, on-demand shuttles, and eBikes.
At the heart of the Product Campus will be a new 700,000-square-foot Design Center, which will include new design studios and an outdoor design courtyard. The current Design Showroom will be converted into an event space. Construction has already begun on the Product Campus, including the Design Center and the Research and Engineering Center, with a goal of completion in 2023.
The second campus will comprise of the Ford World Headquarters and the Ford Credit facility. With plans to begin in 2021, this campus will maintain the iconic appearance of the current SOM-designed Ford Headquarters from 1956, while renovating 1.3 million square feet of workspace. Employees will also have access to new outdoor recreation facilities, including softball and soccer fields, and a renewed Arjay Miller Arboretum. Other greenspaces will include native plantings and large tree-shaded areas.
Along with Ford’s recently completed Palo Alto campus, the new Dearborn campuses will be the model on which Ford plans to update all of its facilities worldwide. At 199,000 employees and 67 plants spread across the globe, this will be no small task. With these new bold campuses, Ford has shown that its built environment is going to be integral to its next 100 years.