In the article, our Denver Office Leader Tim Barr, K12 leader Anne Weber and client contacts share exciting looks at recent work, our new office space in Denver’s RiNo neighborhood, our culture and more.
The full piece can be read online. Here are key excerpts:
On our firm’s focus and Living-Centered focus
Education and health care “are our big anchors,” says Barr. In Denver, those two industry-leading global practices are complemented by a growing hospitality practice with recently completed projects including the Jacquard Hotel & Rooftop and Halcyon Hotel in Cherry Creek.
Regardless of market or typology, a focus on human experience is the connective thread. “First and foremost, we call ourselves a living-centered design firm,” says Barr. “Our mission in that is to really focus on helping humans flourish in everything we do. Architecture supports that.”
He points to a hospital as an example. Most firms focus on the patient experience. “CannonDesign takes it a step further and asks, ‘How can we make the janitor in the hospital feel as valued as the patient?’ It becomes more of a continuum of the people working at the hospital and the patients that are being treated there, and how the architecture of the building interacts with the community around it. There’s a big holistic view.” The education practice takes an outcome-oriented approach, embracing daylighting, open classrooms, and spaces that emphasize engagement and interaction.
On the dynamic Colorado State University Shepardson Hall project
The ongoing $43 million expansion and renovation of Shepardson Hall is one of several CannonDesign projects at the Colorado State University campus in Fort Collins.
It’s all about catalyzing the aforementioned “human flourishing” for students in the agricultural sciences program when the building is finished in 2021. “Their mission is how to feed the world,” says Barr.
One standout feature of the 46,000-square-foot building: A 200-seat classroom in the round “is one of a handful in the U.S.,” says Barr. “It breaks the mold of your traditional classroom. There’s research coming out about how students interact with the teacher, and we can use a circular classroom to bring people in closer together to change the face of education a bit.”
Milt Brown, project manager for CSU’s Capital Planning and Design division, says stakeholders from the university visited Oregon State University in Corvallis, a pioneer in circular classrooms, to evaluate the idea.
The big takeaway? “The physical characteristics of those classrooms correlate with learning outcomes,” says Brown, noting students’ grades went up in circular classrooms as withdrawal rates went down. “You’re face-to-face with other students, so there’s more accountability.”
Brown calls CannonDesign “a great partner” based on four on-campus projects. “We’ve found them to be very creative and responsive to our needs and the clients’ needs,” he says.