Cannon Design has unveiled its proposal for a mixed-use Cancer Hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Originally envisioned as a “private hospital serving patients that can afford a high quality of health care,” the project transformed into a partnership between the public and private sector after preliminary feasibility studies determined the price of the site to be prohibitively high.
Thus, the project expanded to become a mixed-use complex with ownership shared between socially minded city government and private investors.
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 somethingof a backlashin 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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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…
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.