new vista
architectural projects

Henry Ford Learning Institute
Dearborn, MI 2006-2008
In collaboration with Concordia Architecture and Planning

The Henry Ford Learning Institute (HFLI) believes that powerful opportunities exist when public schools are located in public places. The innovative nonprofit organization, located in Dearborn, MI, is developing a network of small schools and hands-on learning programs located within, and connected to, prominent cultural institutions. With plans to develop up to 10 schools within the next decade, HFLI has located its first school, Henry Ford Academy (HFA), inside the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI, and its second school, Henry Ford Academy: Power House High, inside the Homan Square Power House, originally built in 1905 to provide electricity and heat for the massive Sears, Roebuck & Company world headquarters, on Chicago’s West Side. In addition to creating dynamic schools in unique spaces, HFLI’s approach also serves to leverage a wide range of local resources in the creation of thriving educational communities.

Because the experiential educational philosophy of HFLI schools necessitates a totally innovative approach to facility design, the organization hired Concordia Architecture and Planning and New Vista to create a design manual which could help to guide the design of new school buildings. Intended for use by founding schools groups, the architects they hire, and the interested general public, the 50 page design guide includes HFA history and philosophy, photos and illustrations, spatial diagrams and conceptual plans, a prototype architectural program, and guidelines for furniture and technology.

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