Ford Motor Company has unveiled a Master Plan to transform its Research & Engineering (R&E) Center and greater Dearborn campus in Southeast Michigan. As the result of Ford’s 2-year research and planning process, created in partnership with Snøhetta as lead architect, master planner, and landscape architect, the Master Plan re-imagines the broader Dearborn campus as Ford’s global epicenter through empowered workplaces, productive landscapes, smart technology and versatile mobility systems.
Building off an extensive, year-long interview process with over 40 different employee focus groups and previous masterplanning studies conducted by Ford, the Master Plan is a direct response to the needs expressed by Ford employees and their interconnected communities. From these leadership and employee studies, a conceptual framework for the Master Plan emerged, one that conceives of Ford’s natural and built environments, employees, neighboring communities, and the movement between them as symbiotic parts of one Ford ‘ecosystem.’
The Master Plan proposes a central campus hub at the R&E site’s northwest corner—closest to West Dearborn, regional transit, and The Henry Ford Museum. Concentrating building density will enable more than double the number of employees to be one day located at R&E from roughly 11,000 today to more than 20,000 upon full realization of the master plan, supporting greater knowledge exchange, collaboration, and informal social interaction through heightened proximity and connectivity.
Movement within this core campus is pedestrian-focused and transit-rich, connected directly to amenities and key adjacencies and networked through a shared transportation loop, limiting personal vehicular access to the site’s perimeter.
Ford’s employees that are currently dispersed throughout Dearborn and southeast Michigan will be consolidated in state-of-the-art research and production spaces that facilitate the easy flow and circulation of ideas and catalyze opportunities for collaboration, co-location, and therefore, efficient product innovation.
The Master Plan’s response to the site’s core mobility, site, and architectural systems was driven by the need for consolidated and interconnected workplaces; ecological thinking about the landscape that creates habitat for people, flora, and fauna in equal measure; and intelligent campus mobility systems that will evolve over time.
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