our original project scope was focused

on code deficiencies

a preliminary due diligence phase made

it clear that the building was outdated

both from an infrastructure and

technology perspective

as well as from a cultural perspective

the hierarchical design

dominated by large private offices and

executive dining spaces

no longer had a place in ford’s 21st

century foundation

this realization was the turning point

in establishing what became a


building renewal one that would create

opportunities for a more sustainable

building and workplace

and transform the corporate headquarters

into a global center

for social justice


it was through close collaboration with

ford leadership

that we dove deep into the values that

mattered to ford

on the sustainability front we set and

ultimately achieved our goal of leed

platinum status

this also set a standard for the ford

operations team to build upon

from a programming perspective our goal

was to embrace an important

architectural landmark and at the same


provide a more collaborative and

welcoming environment

we partnered closely with the new york

city landmarks preservation commission

the new york city department of

buildings and the fire department to

sensitively align the building with


fire and safety code requirements


the design approach which was a

collaborative effort

amongst the ford foundation gunzler and

a large team of consultants and vendors

embodies the foundation’s core values of


collaboration inclusion and empowerment

one of the critical goals was to

maintain as much of the original

architecture as possible

while also providing the necessary

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programmatic upgrades in retrofitting

the legacy light fixtures we gutted the

old technology

and replaced it with energy efficient


since this building fully represents the

mid-century spirit

we emphasized reusing existing furniture

and materials

the project includes over 50 percent of

the existing

warren plattner and eems furniture

restored to pristine condition totaling

more than 1500 pieces

creating sustainable design solutions

was a guiding principle of this project

and through a variety of strategies we

were able to achieve lead platform


the restoration included the reuse of 85

of existing building materials which

represented about 91 percent of

buildings and body carbon and we

diverted 90

of construction waste away from


for the atrium and the garden we

restored the original brick and upgraded

the stormwater cistern

which captures rainwater from the roof

to supply the make-up water in the new

chiller plant

the building’s performance was

significantly enhanced in terms of heat


lighting mechanical electrical and duct


without losing the integrity of the

original design

the atrium was brought up to code with a

new sprinkler system

fire and smoke separations and full

atrium exhaust

all subtly woven into the existing


in the landmark garden atrium a new

brick pathway

increases wheelchair access by 50

percent and allows for more inclusive


and features braille signage the garden

had evolved over time with plantings

that changed the overall design


the newly restored garden brings back

the kylie ascetic and the garden itself

was redesigned to become

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a touch and smell sensory experience to

aid the visually impaired

only the second of its kind in new york



the design team created a new art

gallery and a mission-driven art program

throughout the building

to highlight and engage an equitable

experience for all who work

and visit

the four-year process of preservation

and revitalization of the ford


wasn’t just about replacing the

fundamental brick and mortar elements

it was about creating a place that would


the work and mission of the ford

foundation which at its core

is all about a more sustainable and

equitable future