An extensive new article from Curbed documents, “How Yazdani Studio of CannonDesign Creates Buildings that Shape Culture.” A laboratory for exploration and experimentation in architecture, the Yazdani Studio holds a unique position in the industry, at the nexus of small boutique design studio and large national practice. Or, as Curbed puts it, Yazdani Studio is “a smaller, LA-based firm-within-a-firm at CannonDesign that has the ability to draw upon the specialized knowledge and resources of a larger company.”
In talking with numerous members of the studio and pointing to multiple projects from the team’s portfolio, the Curbed article provides a great overview of Yazdani Studio’s work and potential. The article can be read in full online and key excerpts are below.
On Yazdani Studio’s unique agility
By pairing computer-aided design with a culture that encourages its designers to question precedent, the firm focuses on the human experience.
“We’re not typology focused or geographically focused,” says Mehrdad Yazdani, design director. “We’re agile enough to do a little exhibition space of 1,500 sf or work on a billion-dollar medical facility.”
On designing Kraemer Radiation Oncology Center
For cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, the outdoors can seem distant amid medical machines dispensing treatment. At the Kraemer Radiation Oncology Center in Anaheim, CA, designed by Yazdani Studio of CannonDesign, the layout seeks to improve a stressful situation with a connection to nature. As explained by Yazdani, the Kraemer design used technology in a way that sought to, in essence, push technology aside. Generally, oncology centers need thick concrete walls to prevent radiation leakage.
Yazdani and his colleagues devised a curving, naturalistic shape for the building, incorporating Zen gardens into the layout so all the patients, even those in the midst of heavy radiation treatments, could connect with nature. It was driven by a desire to fold in nature and light, and to create spaces that were both communal and contemplative.
On Yazdani Studio’s focus on culture
While the typologies and clients may change, Yazdani Studio of CannonDesign always seems to pivot back to culture, creating spaces that can shape interactions. That may be the ultimate goal of institutional architecture. And it’s something that computers, despite all their utility, can’t figure out on their own.
“It’s the poetry of architecture,” says Yazdani. “The idea of a building, the way it has a relationship to its context, the way it reflects its culture. That’s the life of a building.”