Ford Central Campus Building
An interconnected workplace of the future


Landscape Architecture, Architecture


Ford Motor Company has unveiled its new Central Campus Building as part of the transformation of its Research & Engineering (R&E) Campus in Dearborn, Michigan. Snøhetta’s design supports Ford’s aspiration to create an environment that allows it to lead the automotive industry into the future of mobility technologies. Supporting Ford’s new hybrid work-from-home model, the Central Campus building will be a resource that gives employees a place to come together and facilitate the easy flow and circulation of ideas.

Technical details

Workspace, Education & Research, Sustainability
Dearborn, Michigan, USA

Ford Motor Company

Design Architect, Design Landscape Architect

The design emerges from Snøhetta’s Master Plan for the R&E Campus to expand Ford’s core business of automotive manufacturing and lead the industry in future-facing mobility solutions. It was designed as a new model for an interconnected and resilient workplace of the future. The concept of the building and the surrounding landscape centers on catalyzing opportunities for health, collaboration, co-location and product innovation.

Bringing together a technologically advanced workplace with productive landscapes, the new Central Campus Building will open to the public realm and connect to local mobility networks.

The new Central Campus Building is the result of Ford’s 3-year research and planning process, created with Snøhetta as the Design Architect, IBI Group as the Architect of Record, Ghafari as the Engineer of Record, and Arup leading sustainability and engineering.

Architecture of Innovation

Ford’s talent can come together in a state-of-the-art facility that combines active and social amenity spaces, dynamic and collaborative workplace, as well as innovative and inspiring programs. These functions are carefully dispersed throughout the building and extend to exterior spaces, making work visible and fostering a vibrant and inclusive workplace for future generations of Ford employees.

Designed as a place for people, the project provides accessible gathering areas and employee amenities, ample access to daylight, and views outside the building and across the campus. Simultaneously, the Central Campus Building will function as a healthy workplace that brings people together, optimizing team adjacencies, balancing individual and collaborative workspaces, centralizing equipment and services, integrating advanced technology, and streamlining the movement of people and products. Finally, it serves as a community asset, placed near Oakwood Boulevard and activated with public amenities to engage the community. The architecture supports the vision outlined in the Master Plan and advances the Ford workplace into the future.

Site & Ecology

As the Research & Engineering Campus transitions from a closed to an open campus, the Central Campus Building will create a new public face for Ford opposite notable landmarks such as the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. The dynamic experience of indoor-outdoor space is a defining characteristic throughout the future campus.

From plazas and courtyards to paths and gardens, the campus landscape is designed to adapt to and celebrate diurnal, seasonal, climatic and social change, immersing users in highly textured, colorful, and fragrant environments that evolve over time. These landscapes, although each aesthetically unique, are each productive—at times an extension of the indoor workplace, a thriving habitat, a horticultural amenity, and a set of programmed places for the Ford community to meaningfully engage with each other and natural systems.

Reimagining the Future Workplace

Aligning with Ford’s people-centric values, the Central Campus Building is designed to catalyze Ford's vision for the future of their workplace. The building will integrate a highly interconnected network of cross disciplinary teams working together around a product line within physical and visual proximity. Based on a simple plan with interstitial courtyards, the building will create connections across floors, opening to daylight and minimizing travel distances while connecting employees together.

The Central Campus Building communicates both the legacy and the future of Ford. Drawing from a rich legacy of consumer and employee trust, the project was designed as a center of excellence in Ford’s hometown. The Center is a renewed commitment to Ford’s employees, creating a people-first workplace that will also prepare the company to reimagine the future of innovation.