The Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice by Gensler: 2019 Best of Year Winner for Office Renovation
Since 1936, the Ford Foundation has been a trailblazer in promoting human rights, equity, and justice. When it opened its Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates–designed New York headquarters in 1968, the 12-story tower of glass, granite, and weathering steel with a soaring atrium was groundbreaking. But after 50 years, it had to be brought up to code, which required installing all new systems and meeting ADA requirements. The foundation saw an opportunity to reimagine its landmarked building for the 21st century. Gensler regional managing principal and Interior Design Hall of Fame member Robin Klehr Avia integrated the nonprofit’s values of transparency and inclusion into the 415,900-square-foot renovation. “Good design helps create a socially just and equitable world,” she says. Her team transformed warrenlike work spaces into airy, nonhierarchical realms with atrium views for all, and added a wheelchair-friendly pathway and braille signage to the garden. Legacy furnishings were restored wherever possible, including the Charles and Ray Eames auditorium seating, in pursuit of LEED Platinum certification. With a new public art gallery, and works by the likes of Hank Willis Thomas and Kehinde Wiley, the renamed Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice is now eminently accessible and inviting to all.
Project Team: Madeline Burke-Vigeland; Ed Wood; Lydia Gould; Ambrose Aliaga-Kelly; Johnathan Sandler; John Bricker; Bevin Savage-Yamazaki; Jonas Gabbai; Karen Pedrazzi; Thomas Turner; Meghan Magee; Kris Gregerson; Anthony Harris; Ian Korn; David Briefel; Lissa Krueger; Craig Byers; Andrea Plenter Malzone Velez; Kevin Carlin; Jocelyn Mastroianni; Corina Benatuil; Jose Troconis; Robin Klehr Avia.