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4 Reasons Architecture Firms Should Engage in Design Competitions

09:30 - 15 February, 2016
This work was for Infosys Nagpur in India, a really interesting invitation-only competition to make a sustainable office development for 30,000 in a desert-like environment. We worked with great collaborative engineers including Atelier Ten, Arup and Andropogon. We didn’t win, but the founder of the company Mr Murtha ("The Bill Gates of India") was so impressed that he promised us we’d work together in the future. Image Courtesy of CannonDesign
This work was for Infosys Nagpur in India, a really interesting invitation-only competition to make a sustainable office development for 30,000 in a desert-like environment. We worked with great collaborative engineers including Atelier Ten, Arup and Andropogon. We didn’t win, but the founder of the company Mr Murtha ("The Bill Gates of India") was so impressed that he promised us we’d work together in the future. Image Courtesy of CannonDesign

For decades, architectural competitions have been recognized as a great way for architecture firms to get their big break, or to make a name for themselves in the types of projects they might not have been considered for before. However, competitions come with a downside: it’s not always easy for firms to build them in to their culture. Design competitions take time, often don’t translate to billable hours, and aren’t always clear pathways to strengthening the firm’s balance sheet, and as a result they have seen something of a backlash in recent years.

Still, as the architecture profession evolves, it’s important we never lose sight of the remarkable value design competitions can bring to architects, firms and design culture. Regardless of their type, scale or structure, design competitions are key creative opportunities that can enrich our efforts personally and professionally, and as design leader of CannonDesign’s New York City office, I’ve worked with my colleagues to embed them into our work. We see numerous ways in which they can add value to our work, our firm and our clients – and they could do the same for you too.

The Chung Nam Provincial Office stemmed from a competition done in association with James Corner Field Operations and my own firm at the time, John Reed Architecture. One of my proudest efforts, the building earned the 2013 Green Building of the Year award in South Korea. Image Courtesy of CannonDesign Located in my hometown of Carlisle, PA, Dickinson College needed an addition to its athletic complex. The images illustrate how our initial sketches truly impacted the final design of the building. Image Courtesy of CannonDesign The Hastings Tapley Insurance Buildings in Cambridge, MA resulted from an in-office competition (judged during happy hour) while I was at Koetter Kim and Associates. An addition to a building they had recently designed, it would become my first built work. Image Courtesy of CannonDesign Located in my hometown of Carlisle, PA, Dickinson College needed an addition to its athletic complex. The images illustrate how our initial sketches truly impacted the final design of the building. Image Courtesy of CannonDesign +11

The Architecture Software Revolution: From One Size Fits All to DIY

09:30 - 11 December, 2015
The Architecture Software Revolution: From One Size Fits All to DIY, Cedars-Sinai 360 Simulation Lab / Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design. Image © Benny Chan
Cedars-Sinai 360 Simulation Lab / Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design. Image © Benny Chan

We’ve always been a profession of hackers. Every building is a one-off made up of countless elegant hacks, each bringing disparate materials and systems together into a cohesive whole. But when it comes to the software that designers have come to rely on, most of us have been content with enthusiastic consumerism, eagerly awaiting the next releases from software developers like Autodesk, McNeel (Rhino) and Bentley (MicroStation).

It’s been 5 years since we officially launched our research program at the Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design, and during that period we’ve come to understand the evolution of our process reflects the larger, changing relationship architects have with their means of production. Specifically, we've noticed that in late 2007 something changed. McNeel introduced a visual programming plugin called Grasshopper, and more and more architects began to hack their tools as well as their buildings.

Courtesy of Yazdani Studio of CannonDesign Courtesy of Yazdani Studio of CannonDesign Courtesy of Yazdani Studio of CannonDesign Courtesy of Yazdani Studio of CannonDesign +7

Can We Make New Office Buildings As Cool As Warehouses?

09:30 - 29 May, 2015
Can We Make New Office Buildings As Cool As Warehouses?, Cannon Design Regional Offices / Cannon Design. Image © Architectural Imageworks, LLC
Cannon Design Regional Offices / Cannon Design. Image © Architectural Imageworks, LLC

We are rapidly running out of old warehouse buildings to renovate, and selling space in the glassy towers of the central business district is difficult as corporate buildings become less and less attractive. We need a new building that is attractive to companies who cut their teeth in co-working incubators before seeking their own digs.

We are a society obsessed with the new. We want to look eternally young, drive the latest car, wear runway-fresh clothes and have up-to-the-minute technology at our fingertips. We do not care if the battery in our phones cannot be changed, because we are happy to simply get a newer phone. The American pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness is a glittering glare of polish and gloss, all sparkling and new.

That is, unless we’re talking architecture.

Cannon Design's own St Louis Offices are located in a power house built in 1928. Image © Architectural Imageworks, LLC Ansarada / Those Architects. Image © Brett Boardman Donmar Dryden Street / Haworth Tompkins. Image © Philip Vile Cannon Design Regional Offices (St Louis) / Cannon Design. Converted industrial buildings "are big spaces vertically as well, trading the standard 9-foot (3-meter) ceiling in most office towers for soaring rafters". Image © Architectural Imageworks, LLC +10

How Should Cities Prepare for an Aging Boomer Population?

09:30 - 1 March, 2015
How Should Cities Prepare for an Aging Boomer Population?, CannonDesign's plan for Jaypee Sports City features a continuous 10-mile park woven through a dense urban fabric of high- and low-rise developments. This entirely walkable parkland links all the city’s neighborhoods and social amenities. Image Courtesy of CannonDesign
CannonDesign's plan for Jaypee Sports City features a continuous 10-mile park woven through a dense urban fabric of high- and low-rise developments. This entirely walkable parkland links all the city’s neighborhoods and social amenities. Image Courtesy of CannonDesign

Since the end of the Second World War, one of the biggest agents for social change has been the "Boomer" generation, those born in the postwar years who thanks to a spike in birth rates in those years represent a disproportionate amount of the population. But as this group ages, what will their effect on our cities be? In this article, originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "How Boomers Will Shape the Future of Our Cities," principle at CannonDesign Peter Ellis outlines what his generation will need from the places they live as they get older.

I am an architect, and a designer of cities. I am also among the Boomer generation, the 65-year-plus demographic that, due to our increasing numbers, is creating a giant bubble at the upper end of the population charts.

We are not, however, aging like the generations that preceded us. “We will be able to give many people an extra decade of good health, based on what we are able to do in the lab now,” says Brian Kennedy, President and CEO of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, California. The primary triggers for most disease can be controlled, enabling people to remain productive well into their eighties, nineties, and beyond.

How will this “revolution” in human longevity impact our cities? Unlike our parents, Boomers have not moved to retirement communities, preferring, rather, to stay as long as they are able in their urban neighborhoods—where they can continue to lead active lives.

Nassau Community College / Cannon Design

01:00 - 13 November, 2013
Nassau Community College / Cannon Design, Courtesy of Cannon Design
Courtesy of Cannon Design
  • Architects

  • Location

    Garden City, NY, USA
  • Project Designer

    Ernesto Trindade, AIA, LEED AP
  • Project Manager

    Andreas Hausler, Associate AIA, LEED AP
  • Project Architects

    Tamako Ito, Mecayla Burns, AIA, LEED AP
  • Design Team

    Javiera De la Cuadra, Roberto Macias, Yuko Okuma, Jose Zequeira
  • Client

    Nassau Community College
  • Managing Principals

    Patrick Curley, AIA / Brad Lukanic, AIA
  • Structural Engineer

    Cannon Design
  • HVAC & Electrical

    Cannon Design
  • Construction Manager

    Jacobs Global Buildings North America
  • General Contractor

    Aurora Contractors
  • Plumbing and Fire Protection

    AMA Consulting Engineers
  • Civil Engineer

    Dvirka & Bartilucci Consulting Engineers
  • Audiovisual Consultant

    CMS Innovative Consultants
  • IT & Data Consultants

    TM Technology Partners
  • Code Consultant

    CCI
  • Area

    73000.0 ft2
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of Cannon Design

Courtesy of Cannon Design Courtesy of Cannon Design Courtesy of Cannon Design Courtesy of Cannon Design +35

653 10th Ave. Housing / Cannon Design

01:00 - 4 October, 2013
Courtesy of Cannon Design
Courtesy of Cannon Design
  • Architects

  • Location

    New York, NY, USA
  • Project Manager

    Andreas Hausler, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP
  • Project Designer

    Ernesto Trindade, AIA, LEED AP
  • Managing Principal

    Robin Cibrano, AIA
  • Design Team Leaders

    Jovana Kandic-Carlot, Aimee Chang, AIA, LEED AP
  • Design Team

    Aiyla Balakumar, Annette Giuffrida-Leveque RA, LEED AP, Tamako Ito, Roberto Macias, Jose Zequeira
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of Cannon Design

Courtesy of Cannon Design Courtesy of Cannon Design Courtesy of Cannon Design Courtesy of Cannon Design +41

Welcome to the Wellness Center: A New Breed of Recreation Design

00:00 - 29 August, 2013
The Student Wellness & Recreation Center at Georgia College & State University. Image Courtesy of JWest Productions
The Student Wellness & Recreation Center at Georgia College & State University. Image Courtesy of JWest Productions

Until recently, student health and counseling services have predominantly been offered independently of athletics and recreation. But as institutions contemplate a more unified approach to health and wellness, the boundaries of these traditionally separated campus services are becoming blurred. Many believe that unifying these various programs and services under one roof is in the best interest of their students’ long-term health, as well as a potential budgetary and operational boon. 

This recent shift in mindset has supported the emergence of a new breed of recreation centers that is only anticipated to multiply. “We’re seeing more and more universities come to us with a new set of challenges and program needs, as opposed to simply saying ‘we need this type of building,” says Brad Lukanic, Cannon Design’s executive director of education. 

More on this new breed of Wellness Center, after the break...

St. Louis Public Library / Cannon Design

01:00 - 12 April, 2013
© Timothy Hursley
© Timothy Hursley
  • Architects

  • Location

    1301 Olive Street, St. Louis, MO 63103, USA
  • Design Principal

    George Nikolajevich, FAIA
  • Project Year

    2012
  • Photographs

© Timothy Hursley © Timothy Hursley © Timothy Hursley © Timothy Hursley +13

Kaleida Health Gates Vascular Institute / Cannon Design

01:00 - 23 March, 2013
© K C Kratt
© K C Kratt

© Bjorg Magnea Architectural & Interior © Bjorg Magnea Architectural & Interior © Thomas Mayer © Thomas Mayer +18

Indiana University Health / Cannon Design

01:00 - 20 March, 2013
© James Steinkamp
© James Steinkamp

© James Steinkamp © Christopher Barrett © James Steinkamp © James Steinkamp +13

Environmental Awareness Week, Hosted by Cannon Design

00:00 - 18 October, 2012
Environmental Awareness Week, Hosted by Cannon Design, Courtesy of Cannon Design
Courtesy of Cannon Design

From October 22-26, Cannon Design will host a prominent and diverse group of speakers to present at the Chicago firm’s 11th Annual Environmental Awareness Week. 

University of Arizona Medical Center South Campus / Cannon Design + CDG Architects

01:00 - 25 September, 2012
University of Arizona Medical Center South Campus / Cannon Design + CDG Architects, © Timothy Hursley
© Timothy Hursley
  • Architects

  • Location

    Arizona, United States
  • Architect in Charge

    Michael J. Smith
  • Design Team

    Angena Chang, Jenna Wittenberg, Norena Florendo, Arlene Sanchez, Aileen Du, Joe Lafo, Dimitri Contoyannis, Shannon Bartch, Jhiah Chang, Grant Getz, Glenn Jonas, John Waller, Ryan Repucci, Jean Luc Cuisinier, Alex Victa, Carey Woo, Mark Herman, Steve Copenhagen, Greg Degiusti, Jeff Nudi, John Swift
  • Landscape Architect

    Wheat Scharf
  • Structural Engineer

    Holben, Martin, White Consulting Engineers, Inc
  • Civil Engineer

    RS Engineering
  • Photographs

© Timothy Hursley © Timothy Hursley © Bill Timmerman © Timothy Hursley +10

4 Things Afghanistan Can Teach Us About Healthcare

10:30 - 20 August, 2012
Rendering by Cannon Design.
Rendering by Cannon Design.

A few months ago, Deborah Sheehan, a Principal and Healthcare Leader at Cannon Design, was given the task of designing a prototype healthcare facility in Afghanistan, a country averaging about one hospital bed for every 2,400 people.

The challenges that Sheehan and her colleagues faced were considerable: limited construction materials, few skilled tradesmen, political corruption, tribal rivalries. But the resultant design solutions were smart, low-cost, and high-quality – they had to be, after all.

To a certain extent, Sheehan was expecting her team to come up with an innovative design; what she didn’t consider, however, was how applicable the design strategies would be to our own troubled system. In her article for HealthCare Design, “Beautiful, Broken, and Broke,” Sheehan outlines the 4 things the Afghanistan healthcare system does well, frankly better than the American,  and what we could gain by applying them here…

Read after the break to find out the 4 design strategies employed in Afghanistan that could help our Healthcare System…

California State University Student Recreation Center / Cannon Design

01:00 - 28 September, 2011
California State University Student Recreation Center / Cannon Design, © Brad Feinknopf
© Brad Feinknopf
  • Architects

  • Location

    Long Beach, CA, USA
  • Architects

    Cannon Design
  • Mep Engineering

    P2S Engineering
  • Civil Engineering

    Breen Engineers
  • Landscape Engineers

    Carter Romanek Landscape Architects
  • Client

    California State University, Long Beach
  • Area

    109000.0 ft2
  • Project Year

    2010
  • Photographs

© Brad Feinknopf © Brad Feinknopf © Brad Feinknopf © Brad Feinknopf +18

Los Angeles Mission College / Cannon Design

01:00 - 24 May, 2011
Los Angeles Mission College / Cannon Design, © Feinknopf Photography
© Feinknopf Photography
  • Architects

  • Location

    Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • Architects

    Cannon Design
  • Engineering

    Integrated Engineering Consulting Engineers
  • Area

    87000.0 ft2
  • Photographs

© Feinknopf Photography © Feinknopf Photography © Feinknopf Photography © Feinknopf Photography +18

Top 100 Architecture Firms

15:48 - 17 May, 2011
© Joe Pugliese
© Joe Pugliese

Architect Magazine‘s third-annual ranking of American architecture firms takes a look at three factors: profitability, sustainability, and design quality. This whole picture approach provides an opportunity for small and large firms to go head to head, with a result of the best architecture firms, not necessarily the biggest.

Some of these practices have been featured on ArchDaily like Perkins + Will, Skidmore Owings & Merrill, Cannon Design, and Frank Harmon Architect.

Take a look at the complete rankings after the break.

Cannon Design Regional Offices / Cannon Design

01:00 - 24 March, 2011
Cannon Design Regional Offices / Cannon Design, © Architectural Imageworks
© Architectural Imageworks

© Architectural Imageworks © Architectural Imageworks © Architectural Imageworks © Architectural Imageworks +13

Richmond Olympic Oval / Cannon Design

01:00 - 12 February, 2010
Richmond Olympic Oval / Cannon Design, © Nic Lehoux
© Nic Lehoux

Richmond Olympic Oval / Cannon Design Richmond Olympic Oval / Cannon Design Richmond Olympic Oval / Cannon Design Richmond Olympic Oval / Cannon Design +42