Henry Ford Estate Fair Lane contracted with PEA Group to develop concepts for a new donor recognition plaza at the Estate in Dearborn. Located on the Estate grounds, the new plaza builds on the historical concepts originally developed by Jens Jensen.
The new design called for a series of walls in varying heights, as well as seat walls to surround a new fire cauldron reminiscent of a Jensen Council ring. The walls were constructed using a limestone similar to the historical materials of the site detailed in a modern arrangement. Corten steel panels with nameplates provide an accent to the wall, combining a mix of rustic and contemporary materials. The varying sizes and arrangements of the donor plaques allow for flexibility, even as additional donor names are added to the project over time. Exposed aggregate concrete walkways surround the walls, bringing visitors into the site, which opens into a newly cleared outdoor “room” framed by existing plant materials. The walkways and walls are developed to bring visitors to both sides of the walls eliminating a one-sided design and doubling the available space for current and future donor names.
Now complete, the new plaza is the first site visitors see upon entering and serves as a quiet space for Henry Ford patrons and visitors.