June 21, 2021

California Buildings News Publishes Two CannonDesign Projects

We are proud to share California Buildings News has published two CannonDesign projects including the Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine and Ohlone College Academic Core in their Q2 2021 issue.

The full issue and profiles of these buildings can be read online. Below is a quick synopsis of both projects.

Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine
Kaiser Permanente sought a school unfettered by the traditional pedagogy of academic medical centers, but also detached from typical campus amenities. This pushed the design team to reimagine the typology entirely. How does one envision, on a tight urban site, all the components needed for first-rate medical education?

The resulting design is an entire campus within a building. The 80,000 sf building houses simulation, flex classrooms, cafeteria, lecture hall, computer center, small group learning, collaboration zones, and outdoor recreation areas to create “the school of medicine as a laboratory.”

Our team’s reevaluation of administrative and other areas freed up more than 50% of the building to be programmed as flexible, almost hospitality-like zones for students to study, workout, or even meditate. This is a far cry from the 8-18% of ‘student life’ square footage in the precedent buildings reviewed during the design process.

This approach redefines medical education, preparing a new generation of physicians to influence positive change within the Kaiser Permanente system and in hospitals, homes, schools, workplaces and communities at large.

Ohlone College, Academic Core Buildings
Ohlone College’s Fremont campus—located about 40 miles outside of San Francisco—is a key part of the higher education system within California’s Bay Area. To better prepare local students to seize the region’s in-demand jobs, we partnered with Anderson Brulé Architects and the college to design its new Academic Core. The project includes three new buildings designed to transform the student experience: a science center, a music and visual arts center, and a learning commons that houses study rooms and a library.

Prior to these new buildings, the campus was very much a commuter campus, meaning students went to class and then went home. Now, students have access to new indoor and outdoor environments where they can socialize, build friendships, access technology and focus on academics in a setting more akin to a university.

The project replaces three older facilities built in the 1970s that resembled daunting “castles.” The new buildings are the complete opposite: open, airy and welcoming. Located on a very challenging, hillside site, the buildings seamlessly link lower campus to upper campus with a single elevator run and numerous stairs, ramps and bridges with clear wayfinding.