Gallery: Aging Ford Plant Revitalized Into Stunning Commercial Space

The renaissance of the Ford Assembly Building in Richmond, California is a powerful story of how a city, private companies and an architecture firm can produce a 21st-century facility from the bones of a building constructed in 1930. In fact, the quality of the original design by famed industrial architect Albert Kahn not only earned it a spot on the National Historic Register, but also allowed Marcy Wong Donn Logan Architects to playfully re-imagine the sun-filled space as a place for work, art, leisure and learning. The result is a one of the greenest mixed-use buildings in the Bay Area, and certainly one of the most interesting.

After producing Ford cars, Jeeps and outfitting tanks during WWII, the huge complex sat vacant upon closing down in the fifties. Then the 1989 Loma Peralta earthquake forced the city to either fix the building or tear it down. Richmond chose to invest in the building, and after many years of seeking development partners the city finally was able to see the historic complex revived. Current codes would never allow a building to be placed so close to the water, so this was a rare opportunity to create a striking venue on the bay.


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