Domino’s Farms Prairie House (1984-98)
Gunnar Birkerts, Architect
24 Frank Lloyd Wright Drive Ann Arbor, MI 48106
Photos taken November 4 and 5, 2011
To understand the Domino’s Farms building, and what is unique and interesting about it, you must click the link to the Aerial View and Map. It is long, nearly a kilometer long. It is long, twice as long as the Empire State Building is tall. It is long, and is covered by the world’s largest copper covered roof. It is long, and….well it is really long.
Designed by Gunnar Birkerts, it is a series of building blocks with hipped roofs organized on a series of 7 “sliding” tracks. The lobby entrances are created by gaps in the building blocks on the outermost tracks. The windows are continuous horizontal bands just under the deep overhangs. It is difficult to capture the building in photos (not to make excuses, but…) The best view of the building is from the expressway interchange on the west side of the complex.
Domino’s Farms was built as the headquarters for the Domino’s Pizza empire by it’s founder Thomas S. Monaghan, a Frank Lloyd Wright enthusiast. Monaghan actually amassed an impressive collection of Frank Lloyd Wright artifacts, memorabilia, art glass windows, furniture, Wright’s Cherokee red Lincoln Zepher, and even a couple Frank Lloyd Wright houses, before he decided that he should focus his energy and vast fortune on his religious faith.
Although well detailed and constructed, there isn’t a particularilly groundbreaking feature, memorable detail, or exciting approach to the building at ground level, but the building is impresive and memorable due to one fact – it is really, really long…