COLOGNE, Germany – Work on a €11.6 million expansion of Ford's Design Centre in Cologne-Merkenich officially started today with the laying of a foundation stone by Cologne Lord Mayor Jürgen Roters, Ford of Germany chairman Bernhard Mattes, and Martin Smith, executive director, Design, Ford of Europe.
The expansion, to be completed by the end of the year, includes a 3,000-square metre two-floor facility with room for 100 work stations. The building will be equipped with a “powerwall” capable of projecting vehicle and concept designs in a three-dimensional and virtual environment.
The project also includes a redesign of the existing design studios, plus the installation of new milling machines that use computer-aided design to create precise clay models of new vehicle designs.
“The expansion of our Design Centre shows Ford is committed to maintaining Cologne as one of its key global design and engineering locations,” said Bernard Mattes.
The building project is the largest single expansion of the Design Centre since it was first constructed in 1968. Today, the Design Centre covers 13,000 square metres, and includes an aerodynamic wind tunnel built in 1984.
The Design Centre accommodates 250 employees from 14 nations. In addition a team of about 70 designers responsible for Ford of Europe's commercial vehicle design is located at Dunton Technical Centre in Essex, UK.