February 17, 2021

AIA Buffalo/WNY Recognizes Built and Unbuilt CannonDesign Projects with Special Recognition Awards

We are thrilled to share the AIA Buffalo/WNY has recognized our work with both the University of Kansas Health Strawberry Behavioral Health Hospital and the DEL_Line with Special Recognition honors as part of their 2020 Design Awards program.

The annual awards program seeks to recognize excellence in architectural design, to increase public awareness of the potential of the built environment and to honor the architects, owners and builders of significant local architectural projects. A video presentation of this year’s winners is available online. Here is more about each of our two-award winning projects.

University of Kansas Health Strawberry Hill Behavioral Health Hospital
The Strawberry Hill Behavioral Health Hospital converts a vacant government office building into a 48-bed inpatient hospital in the heart of Kansas City, Kansas. The center provides much needed mental health services to an underserved community, and ignites economic growth, job creation and new retail development.

While decades ago mental health hospitals were often designed in secluded, rural areas, the Strawberry Hill Behavioral Health Hospital is in the heart of the city to help elevate public awareness around mental health treatment, reduce stigma and elevate care. 

The design creates a healing and therapeutic environment for patients and staff that takes advantage of a four-story central atrium, extensive access to daylight and nature and views toward the surrounding skyline and Missouri River. The space further embraces nature with platner beds, vertical green walls and more, while also ensuring maximum flexibility and adaptability for the future.

The DL&W rail line – or “Del” as locals know it – presents a groundbreaking opportunity for the City of Buffalo in its ongoing resurgent redevelopment. The design reflects the land’s historical industrial past, honors Frederick Law Olmsted’s vision of interconnected public green spaces throughout the city, responds to the rail line’s years of dormancy, and is created in the vision of an active, equitable and sustainable future.

Our team (a collaboration between our Buffalo and NYC offices) further proposes a new elevated park and its structures represent an organic growth of the living land’s dynamic forms – its soil and roots, its stories and outcomes. It is designed to curate a flexible experience for residents and visitors that’s accessible in all four seasons. 

The park would be a continuously connected elevated corridor that passes over the mounds and two mound-less parcels in the Old First Ward. The bones of this new green corridor mirror the original rail line, and accommodate two parallel pathways: one for bikes, cross-country skis, and snowshoes, and one for pedestrians. THese twin paths take the best advantage of each parcel’s local context, size and geometry. A new kind of park for a new kind of Buffalo.