Posts tagged with "Ford":

Snøhetta to design Ford’s research campuses in Detroit and Dearborn, including Michigan Central Station

It’s no secret that Detroit, Michigan, is in the midst of a downtown revival after the city’s financial downfall and historic bankruptcy in 2013. The new Detroit is flourishing with new restaurants, artist spaces, small business incubators, and investment from large corporations that are pulling people back into the city. In the latest development of Detroit’s comeback, Snøhetta will be collaborating with Ford Motor Company to re-envision and design the car company’s headquarters and campuses in both Dearborn and Detroit. Ford started its upgrade back in 2016 with plans to overhaul its existing facilities in Dearborn, the original headquarters. With the Dearborn redevelopment still on track, Ford also recently acquired a new site in its expansion: Michigan Central Station in Corktown, one of Detroit’s oldest neighborhoods. The conceptual designs for both are being led by Snøhetta, who was chosen as lead Design Architect. Ford recently bought the Michigan Central Station, a Beaux-Arts icon that represents Detroit’s urban decline, with plans to restore and redevelop the decrepit train station. It will now serve as the central hub of the planned corporate campus in Corktown, serving both Ford employees and the general public with workspaces, restaurants, retail, and housing. The campus will also serve as an innovation hub for the future of transportation, researching urban mobility solutions including smart vehicles, roads, parking, public transit, and autonomous and electric vehicles. The new buildings and public spaces will be formulated in collaboration with the Corktown community and city officials. Ford is one of many car companies looking to the future. With the rise of automated vehicles and increased technological capabilities, car companies are doing more than just producing cars. Ford, with the creation of its new research campuses, plans to implement the first City of Tomorrow study in Corktown, envisioning the future of mobility and rethinking existing cities. “We at Ford want to help write the next chapter, working together in Corktown with the best startups, the smartest talent and the thinkers, engineers and problem-solvers who see things differently—all to shape the future of mobility and transportation,” Chairman Bill Ford said at the celebration of Ford’s purchase of the Michigan Central Station, as reported in Detroit Free Press. Design and community engagement processes for the Corktown campus are just in the beginning stages, while the Dearborn campus conceptual design is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Ford Motors buys iconic Michigan Central Station in Detroit

Thirty years after the last Amtrak train pulled out of Detroit’s now notorious Michigan Central Station (MCS), Ford Motor Company has confirmed the purchase of the structure from longtime owner Matthew Moroun. Crain’s Detroit Business first reported Ford to be in possible negotiation to purchase the 1913 Beaux Arts passenger station in Corktown in March 2018, but could not provide details on the sale. In a press conference in front of the station's colonnaded entrance on June 11, Moroun announced that the Ford Motor Company would act as developer, owner and user of the landmark structure. Ford is expected to detail its plans for the building on June 19. The three-story depot with attached 18-story office tower has become a convenient symbol for Detroiters and preservationists to both criticize the city’s development practices and celebrate the ability of its unique as-is built environment to inspire the cultural class. Michigan Central Station has born witness to the complexities of Detroit’s 21st century narrative, particularly in Corktown. MCS sat idle as the last game was played at Tiger Stadium in 1999 and finally demolished in 2009, just as Major League Baseball stadium owners were figuring out that fans preferred an authentic urban experience around their ballparks—bars, restaurants and neighborhoods—over convenient parking, a scenario that had naturally occurred in Corktown. As new development crept east along Michigan Avenue, it began to encircle MCS. In 2015, the building mysteriously received new windows and a freight elevator, and in 2017, it hosted “Detroit Homecoming,” an invitation-only event that filled the graffitied, Roman bathhouse-inspired waiting room with banquet tables and former Motor City expats in an attempt to lure possible investors. MCS is no stranger to redevelopment plans. A casino was proposed in the building for the first time in 1989, with former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick proposing to reuse the structure as headquarters for the Detroit Police Department in 2003. Armed by the 1984 Dangerous Building Ordinance, the City of Detroit moved to demolish the structure in 2009 using federal economic stimulus money but was prevented from doing so based on the MCS’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places. “This amazing news is a testament to the fact that it’s important to hang on to historic buildings even if they’re vacant and even if we can’t see the endgame immediately,” said urban planner Claire Nowak-Boyd. “Detroit is changing rapidly right now. Few people would have imagined this outcome in 2009.”

Ford may redevelop Detroit’s abandoned Michigan Central Station

Michigan Central Station, a hulking ruin, is a 230-foot-tall symbol of urban decline a stone's throw away from Downtown Detroit. Now, though, Ford Motor Company is in talks to buy the abandoned station from its owners, the Moroun family. As soon as April, the Dearborn, Michigan–based automaker could ink a deal that would transform the 500,000-square-foot train station in the city's Corktown neighborhood into—well, it's not really clear at this time.  In the past, Ford leadership said that expanding their workforce in Detroit, historically a home base for the company, is part of a strategy to attract and retain younger talent, many of whom want to live in cities. The news comes as Ford is moving around 200 workers to a facility down the street; those familiar with the just-announced deal say 1,000 or more workers could fit inside a transformed Michigan Central Station. "At this time, Ford is focused on locating our autonomous vehicle and electric vehicle business and strategy teams, including Team Edison, to The Factory in Detroit’s historic Corktown neighborhood," Ford spokesman Said Deep told Crain's, which first reported the story. "While we anticipate our presence over time will grow as our (autonomous/electric vehicle) teams begin moving downtown in May, we have nothing further to announce at this time." Amtrak stopped running trains through the station in 1988, and since then, the Michigan Avenue building has served as a low-hanging symbol of Detroit's deindustrialization. Alongside countless ruins tourists on Flickr, artists like Camilo José Vergara and Andrew Moore have extensively documented the decline of the station and the surrounding city. Recently, though, the Moroun family has brought the space back to life, somewhat. Last summer, they opened the building to a Crain's-produced event for investors interested in the city, and they've spent $8 million on window replacement and structural upgrades in the past three years. If Ford drives the station deal home, it would not be the automaker's only major investment in its Michigan physical assets. Ford is in the midst of a ten-year, $1.2-billion overhaul of its neighboring Dearborn campus, with the help of architects at SmithGroupJJR.

Initial plans emerge for former Ford assembly plant in St. Paul, Minnesota

A vision for Ford Motor Company’s former Twin Cities Assembly Plant is beginning to materialize as the City of St. Paul has recently unveiled initial studies for the site. While discussion around the site has been underway for nearly 10 years, it seems that the project is poised to start moving in earnest. In a public meeting, the city outlined what the future may hold for what they are calling "Ford Site: A 21st Century Community." The 135 acres of land along the Mississippi River in the Highland community was an assembly plant from 1925 through 2011. Now the plan is to build a mixed-use development which will focus on and interconnected system of streets, bikeways, and walkways. Ford-and-CP-Properties-Map The information presented by the city included a rough timeline of the development, outlines of economic and environmental impact, and a plan for the streets and park space on the site. Much of the information was gathered and assembled during the course of a dozen public meetings and presentation that have happened over the last two years. One of the largest concerns surrounding the Twin Cities Assembly Plant project has been the likely increase in traffic in the area. The city has assured skeptics that new dedicated transit and improved space for alternative transportation would be provided on the site. Though the city is playing a large role in communicating information to the public, St. Paul does not own the site. It is still owned by Ford, who plan to market and sell the land for development. Ford, working with the city, is currently running studies on the site and planning remediation. It is expected that Ford will actively start the search for buyers in 2017. The presented timeline puts developer engagement in 2020, with the physical project beginning in 2021. While no designs have been released, the city has stated that the development would “reflect the heritage of the Ford plant and its employees.” The city has also stated that there will be a mix of tradition and “modern” building forms and materials in the development.

A major mixed-use development includes a new Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters

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.”

Ford Motor Company has begun a $1.2 billion makeover for its campus in Dearborn, Michigan

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. 

Ford sets its sights on a radical new high-tech Headquarters

This month, Ford motorcar company will break ground on a new complex as part of a major upgrade to its 60-year old Dearborn campus in Michigan. New buildings, located in two campus' designed by Michigan-based architecture firm SmithGroupJJR, will see a fifty-percent reduction in energy consumption, save water, and include a new zero-waste, zero-energy, zero-water Sustainability Showcase building. The move comes as Ford attempts to realign their focus within the rapidly changing automobile industry. “As we transition to an auto and a mobility company, we’re investing in our people and the tools they use to deliver our vision,” said Ford President and CEO Mark Fields. “Bringing our teams together in an open, collaborative environment will make our employees’ lives better, speed decision-making and deliver results for both our core and emerging businesses.” https://youtu.be/VOrHhaEnvEM Of the two new campus' in question, one will be devoted to "products" and the other will act as a headquarters. Together they will comprise 70 buildings for 30,000 employees. Within they ten year time span Ford have set their sights on "more than 7.5 million square feet of work space will be rebuilt and upgraded into even more technology-enabled and connected facilities." Within the campus' a network of walkable community with paths, trails, and covered walkways will connect buildings. On the product campus, autonomous vehicles, on-demand shuttles and eBikes will also be available to use. The showpiece however, will be a new state-of-the-art design center that will boast more than 700,000 square feet of space for design studios as well as an outdoor courtyard for work and socializing. Meanwhile, at the second campus, 1.3 million square feet will be transformed to house the Ford World Headquarters and a Ford Credit facility. All in all, the transformation will see an additional 100 acres of green space and 3.8 million square feet of new buildings. Construction is due to begin this month at the Ford Research and Engineering Center (to become the new product campus), while Ford says that they expect most of the work to be done by 2023. Work on the Ford World Headquarters will begin in 2021, being complete by 2026.