Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Ford Experience Center + Rock Ventures HQ Win Interior Design “Best of Year” Awards

Two Ghafari projects were among the winners at last week’s Interior Design “Best of Year” awards in New York City: the Ford Experience Center and the Rock Ventures + Rock Family of Companies Headquarters. Learn more about these award-winning projects below and check out the list of Interior Design honorees here.

Ford Experience Center

The Ford Experience Center, a collaboration between Ghafari and Ford Environments, won the “Office Transformation” category at last week’s Interior Design “Best of Year” awards.

This project involved the complete transformation of Ford’s 95,000 SF, two-story main events facility in Dearborn, Michigan, a previously dark and uninviting concrete structure. Ford’s leaders envisioned a dynamic hospitality-inspired hub for employees, car dealers, and major customers offering flexible event spaces, conference rooms, a café, and hot-desking, plus an on-site design lab.

The design of the space is centered around a hospitality experience that is interactive and engaging – allowing its visitors to see and sense where Ford was yesterday, is today, and is heading tomorrow. The space is adaptable and production-ready to accommodate a wide variety of events for company partners and talent alike.

The transformation of the facility re-skinned the façade with electrochromic glass that brings ample light to the interior but can also tint for shade. With a sharp focus on human wellness, the design incorporates two green walls in the café, called the Hive, and ensures that even enclosed rooms have natural light and views of the surrounding lawns. Terraces allow for events to flow outdoors, and the central corridor aligns with the front door of the Henry Ford Museum.

In the central forum, polished white-terrazzo flooring and oak stadium seating form a timeless backdrop for what is in fact a high-tech, production-ready space. At the touch of a button, the lighting can change to suit a cocktail party, presentation, or launch event, and cars rotate on a turntable in the floor. Overhead, a sculpted white ceiling of acoustical plaster conceals lighting and mechanical systems, with cuts that mirror the lines in the terrazzo floor.

Rock Ventures + Rock Family of Companies Headquarters

The new Rock Ventures + Rock Family of Companies Headquarters won the “Medium Corporate Office” category at the Interior Design “Best of Year” awards. Ghafari served as architect of record on the project, working in partnership with interior design firm Pophouse.

Located in the heart of downtown Detroit, the new Rock Ventures headquarters unites a collection of teams supporting a diverse portfolio of companies in 50,000 SF, split between two floors of new office space. Designed with the philosophy that progress happens at the intersection of ideas, this transformative space allows for open communication and collaboration, linking together the teams who work to support the entire family of companies.

The investment in the future of the company and the success, health, and overall wellbeing of its team members are represented throughout the office, which accommodates a variety of open and closed workspaces, breakout areas, a chef’s kitchen and team kitchens, a wellness / mother’s suite, boardroom, auditorium, and monumental stair.

Natural light streams through the open office areas, while wood accents and neutral colors create a feeling of warmth throughout the space. The showpiece of the workplace is a monumental spiral staircase in the central hub that not only connects the lower and upper levels of the office, but also creates serendipitous opportunities for employees who don’t normally work together to come into contact.

Photos: Garrett Rowland (Ford Experience Center) + John D’Angelo (Rock Ventures HQ)