CASE STUDY | Ford research campus by IBI

Architecture practice and technology champion IBI Group is working with Ford Motor Company to design the new 2.2m sq ft research and engineering centre in Dearborn, Michigan where 6,000 workers will develop new products to help shape the future of mobility. Ari Bose, director and buildings lead, for USA East at IBI talks us through the campus’s features.

Project features

  • The new campus R&E Centre is designed to consolidate several research, design and engineering functions into one building with different functions within a 10-minute walk of each other
  • This will replace several buildings on campus where functions are silo-ed and they have to drive from one building to the other currently. This will support greater knowledge exchange, collaboration, and informal social interaction through heightened proximity and connectivity, while reducing the carbon footprint of these functions
  • This consolidation also allows a major part of the campus to be pedestrian-focused and transit-rich, and release large parts of the site back to be re-planted landscape areas
  • The building is designed with the latest technology systems which will allow Ford engineers to design and simulate cars in virtual environments called “Caves”
  • Data from multiple sources including internet access points and IoT sensors will combine to show how space is not only occupied but also used, prompting layout changes if required
  • Workspaces have been designed around daylight penetration, biophilia, neurology, and hyper-agility which allows them to be re-configured during resilient scenarios like pandemics
  • Virtual meeting systems designed for Ford will allow collaboration between design and engineering teams worldwide
  • The campus will showcase new mobility solutions such as electrified bikes, scooters and shuttles, evolving over time as autonomous vehicles and other transportation emerges
  • Phase one of the facility is expected to be operational by the end of 2023
  • The project is part of a broader, ongoing collaboration between Ford and IBI Group. The two organizations are working together to develop Ford’s technology strategy around buildings for its Dearborn and Michigan Central projects. The facility adds to IBI Group’s global design portfolio of R&D facilities and corporate headquarters, including ExxonMobil’s R&D Campus in Clinton, NJ; and the Harwell Science, Technology and Innovation Campus in Oxford, UK.

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