We designed Ford Hall at Willamette University to incorporate state-of-the-art technologies while harmonizing with neighboring academic buildings that date back to 1867. An abundance of flexible collaboration spaces allow for personal and group interactions between faculty and students. Our team placed glass walls at hearth spaces, seminar rooms, faculty office re-lites, and on the exterior glass building skin at the south-facing outdoor courtyard — inviting creativity and the sharing of ideas on informal marker boards and projection surfaces. Exposed wood-clad cable trays allow for easy access for the ever-changing technology and pedagogy needs of the university. Finishes and accents were fabricated from the site’s pre-existing black walnut trees; furnishings specified throughout the building were selected to provide extensive flexibility. The building includes a film viewing theater, art studio/installation spaces, black box recording studio, music lab, multimedia production, video conferencing, computer labs, classrooms, seminar rooms, and faculty offices serving the rhetoric and media studies, math, computer science, and digital art programs.
“Ford Hall has become an emblem, a manifestation, of our aspirations on campus. It really has proven to be more than we hoped for, in the sense that it’s a showpiece for our campus.”
— David Douglass,
Associate Dean of Campus Life, Willamette University