April 20, 2022

CannonDesign Receives ACUI 2022 Outstanding Facility Design Award

The ACUI Facility Design Awards recognize excellence in the design of student-centered facilities that support campus community building and student learning. This marks CannonDesign’s 10th such award.

We are thrilled to share the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) has recognized the University of Central Florida and Valencia College’s collaborative UnionWest at Creative Village for a 2022 Outstanding Facility Design Award.


UnionWest at Creative Village is a transformative project delivering a distinct experience. The University of Central Florida and Valencia College sought to create a student life and education experience by blending academics and the community of downtown Orlando together in one space. The design team collaborated with the institutions and the community of downtown Orlando to ensure elements such as classrooms and demonstration kitchens flowed seamlessly with retail spaces. From “First Stop” student services to commercial shops, health and recreation services, and teaching kitchens, the 104,000 sf project provides an uninterrupted student experience from start to finish.



The unique student services complex is shared by Valencia College and the University of Central Florida and is built on the edge of the Parramore Community, a historically black residential area in Orlando. Its mission of providing access and equity can be felt in the exhibit displays in the Center and the Academic Commons, which are dedicated to notable community members. Programs engaging with the community and a nearby public elementary school are intended to reach back into the pipeline and bring new students to life-changing opportunities. UnionWest houses the new home of the Walt Disney World Center for Culinary Arts and Hospitality, providing skills and management training for the largest industry in Orlando by the largest employer. Atop the five-floor academic and commercial podium is ten floors of housing to revitalize downtown and support the campus with about 600 beds, all wrapped around a 600-space parking garage. By offering housing, UnionWest encourages students to get involved in campus activities, interact with diverse people and have immediate access to downtown jobs. Inside the building, students have access to retail dining, a recreation center, a health and counseling center, and student support services. The new campus aims to include access to other residential-support services for the whole community.



Many unions can claim programming challenges when multiple stakeholders are involved. But UnionWest stands apart in its seamless blending of two academic institutions in a developer-driven tenant fit-out model with one of the most recognizable commercial brands supporting a signature academic program.

CannonDesign’s Previous ACUI Facility Design Awards

Our legacy in student union design: ten awards in nearly as many years.

  1. CSUDH Loker University Student Union, 2011
  2. UCSD Price Center East, 2011
  3. NAU Health and Learning Center, 2012
  4. Tidewater Community College Student Union, 2012
  5. Texas Christian University Brown-Lupton University Union, 2012
  6. University of Wisconsin Gordon Commons, 2014
  7. University of Florida Reitz Student Union, 2017
  8. University of Utah Lassonde Studios, 2018
  9. York University Student Centre, 2019
  10. University of Central Florida and Valencia College UnionWest at Creative Village, 2022