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Domino's Farms Office Park (Prairie House/Domino's Pizza World Headquarters)
Situated on a three-hundred-acre rolling pastoral farmland containing the Zeeb farm, Domino's Pizza World Headquarters covers over 1.2 million square feet. Thomas S. Monaghan (b. 1936), long an admirer of Frank Lloyd Wright and then a collector of Wright furniture and architectural fragments, had many Wrightian Prairie house features incorporated here, among them the sweeping horizontal lines; the long, low-pitched, copper-clad roofs; natural materials; ribbon windows; and berms. Monaghan, then owner of Domino's Pizza and the Detroit Tigers baseball team, has expressed freely his passion for Wright and has satisfied his own architectural imagination in this architectural complex. The Postmodern buildings were designed by Birkerts, to whom Leonard K. Eaton had introduced Monaghan while cultivating support for the University of Michigan's architecture school.
The project comprised four phases: a 220,000-square-foot, four-story office building with physical fitness activity centers, a conference center, cafeterias, and executive offices (1984–1985); a 235,000-square-foot warehouse and operations plant connected to the main office building (1985); a low-rise office building that began to complete the desired illusion of a half-mile-long Prairie House (1987); and the Domino Center for Architectural Design, a museum that housed the extensive Monaghan collections of Frank Lloyd Wright artifacts (1987). The exhibition building became the north end of Prairie House (1987). A cantilevered tower was constructed to plans by Birkerts in substitution for the “Golden Beacon,” a 1956 design by Wright that was never executed for a tower on a Chicago lakefront site. The complex was intended to invoke a “friendly campus” atmosphere for the benefit of the employees.
In 1998 Monaghan sold Domino's Pizza to Bain Capital so as to devote his resources to “God's work.” He established Ave Maria College in Ypsilanti. Today Domino's Farms holds offices for corporations, professional firms, and nonprofit organizations.
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