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Ford Converts Unused Mall Spaces in Offices

HomeArchitectureFord Converts Unused Mall Spaces in Offices

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Aakrati Akar
Aakrati Akar
Aakrati is an architectural student, from Jaipur. Her curious minds drives her into researching about various topics and gain knowledge. Her belief in the power of words and writing led her to the field of architectural journalism.

As the world is moving towards sustainability, Ford Motors is also taking initiatives. The company is committed to shaping the future, by enhancing the work environments for its team members and the environment.

Therefore, it has come up with a 10-year development plan to transform its Dearborn facilities into a modern, green, and high-tech campus. The transformation will colocate 30,000 employees from 70 buildings into primarily two campus locations.

In the meantime, larger groups of employees needed a place to work. Hence, Ford has come up with a creative way to utilize a vacant space in an unused mall.

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The Fairlane Town Center Mall has served as a major retail hub for more than years in Dearborn, Michigan. Once, It was the state’s largest malls, housing more than 220 retailers including five major department stores, restaurants, even an ice rink.

According to Rita Nelson, Fairlane Town Center general manager, the mall serves, in addition to retail, dining, entertainment and mixed-use opportunities, malls offer campus and office space solutions for nontraditional tenants.

Ford Motor Company, release announced that it has converted 240,000 square feet of unused mall space, formerly occupied by as many as 26 retailers, into its new Town Center Office. Creating a workspace for almost 1800 employees, a healthy, sustainable office.

The press release mentioned that as technology redefines how consumers shop, malls are reinventing themselves to offer not just retail and dining experiences, but community gathering areas, entertainment venues, and office centres.

The CEO and chairman of Ford Land, Dave Dubensky said that as they began the 10-year process of constructing new technology labs and offices, they needed an innovative solution to situate larger teams close to their operations. Fairlane mall fulfilled the proximity and design requirement of the company. As well as, its on-site amenities supported the transformation by offering multiple conveniences.

The design team of Ghafari has closely worked with Ford Motors in recent years on a series of office renovation projects throughout the Dearborn area. The design required a complete phased interior demolition to remove all traces of the former shopping mall space and make way for a professional, modern office setting. The firm has applied a cost-effective approach, to create an open and collaborative working environment.

The new office complex is designed to promote more team collaboration and to keep employees physically energized, mentally stimulated, engaged, and refreshed.

  • Ample lounge space and cafes, are provided in order to encourage movement, and flexibility in terms of where employees choose to work each day.
  • Wellness rooms, as well as reflection rooms for prayer and meditation encourage employees to take breaks to recharge.
  • The space also features lactation rooms for nursing mothers.
  • Treadmill desks allow the employees to walk at a 2 mph pace while returning email, taking a call, or working on other tasks.
  • Personal work areas are more open to encourage collaboration.
  • Ergonomically designed workstations feature adjustable-height desks that offer a custom fit, along with the ability for employees to change posture throughout the day to promote energy and stimulation.
  • Materials have been carefully selected to foster employee wellness and sustainability. The new visitor lobby features an accent wall of reclaimed wood, while carpet made from recycled content is fully recyclable at the end of its lifecycle.
  • Zero volatile organic compound paint is used throughout the space.

Designed around movement, space promotes wellness by helping people feel healthier, more energized, and accomplished while burning a few calories in the process.

A Ford College Graduate supplier technical assistance site engineer who recently relocated to Ford’s new Town Center Office, said that initially, she was hesitant and excited about the move. And since moving in, she has met a lot of new people, and having the team in one place, along with access to all of the collaboration space has made it easier to work together.

The result of a modern workspace is, that it allows team members to collaborate and flourish within an open office environment.

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