Cannon Design is an architectural firm that leverages the heart, intelligence, and passion of more than 1,000 creative thinkers to develop solutions for the greatest challenges faced by society and clients. Their motive is to create a Living-Centered Design that can bring better days, lots of huge smiles, healthier people with a healthier planet where we can find equality for all. In current times they have 24 offices across the globe sketching out a site plan, jotting down the next big idea, doodling a solution to a problem that hasn’t even yet entered the public consciousness. They design transformational places, plans, and strategies that improve life.

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Will Cannon Sr_©

More than 100 years ago this firm was started by Will Cannon, Sr as a one-man architecture shop in Niagara Falls, New York. His first significant project was a Beaux-Arts-style building completed in 1923 known as Niagara Falls City Hall. The building is embodied with Neo-Classical Revival architectural details and still standing strong today. It is rectangular in form, which has a central projecting pavilion, smooth ashlar sandstone walls with pilasters fluted, and columns with Ionic capitals. In 2001 this Hall was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

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Niagara falls city hall_©JAMES NEISS

After Will Cannon, Sr, with a keen interest in architecture and engineering his two sons Will Jr. and Don joined the family business forming a trio in 1945. Throughout the 20th century, this firm strengthened in size, expertise and stature. Their partnerships and acquisitions allowed them to compete in the marketplace beyond Western New York. Right now, Blue Cottage of CannonDesign, Facility Optimization Solutions of CannonDesign, Yazdani Studio of CannonDesign, and ModularDesign+ were all part of CannonDesign. 

Throughout this year they have evolved into an ideas-based practice signifying their belief that design is far more than the final built object of a project. Their design encompasses why a project exists; what it does; how it imparts value to its users; and how it will almost inevitably change.

Today, they have lots of individual talents, offering them powerful solutions with their perspectives, experiences, technologies, methods, and cultures. They show their impact in the community with better access to maternal care and resources or by improving neighborhoods through community planning. In current years they have done lots of projects which validate the above-mentioned point like their St. Louis office project helped transform a former physician office building into an Equal Access Midwifery Clinic for Black communities as there is a need for maternal and infant resources and care. They have also developed guidelines for the Pennsylvania Avenue corridor in Baltimore, MD. Implementation of these guidelines has encouraged an improved quality of life, an economic boost to business, higher property values for property owners, and overall beautification for the area. They have created two simple and flexible cabin designs for a YMCA camp in Huguenot, New York which helps in empowering kids at that camp. It encourages diversity, allowing kids to learn the importance of shared values and friendships which can last lifetimes.

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Purdue University Northwest Nils K. Nelson Bioscience Innovation Building_©Hall + Merrick Photographers

Apart from these, they helped over 30 non-profit organizations for their first annual Community Service Day. And also donated 44 backpacks for the “Stuff the Bus” campaign to help homeless students who locally live there. This shows that not only they are spreading new big ideas in the architectural field but also spreading humanity across the globe.

There is another point which is particularly focused by this firm is that they help to make a healthier planet as mentioned earlier too. They follow sustainable design techniques as well as cost-effective design. When we check their website, they have a proper series which they called The LIFE Series completely describing sustainable practices. This series includes four collections which are building a life, water life, material life, and renew life. They are also actively taking part in programs and initiatives that foster equity and inclusion.

One of the latest projects done by this firm is Purdue University Northwest Nils K. Nelson Bioscience Innovation Building which is to be completed in the year 2020. The whole structure is made in a site area of 68000 ft². It is a building that units the school’s College of Nursing and Department of Biology. It is also incorporating cross-disciplinary skills labs adjacent to public spaces so that all students can experience a different culture. The building is designed around a three-story lobby and a grand staircase that join the space together. All classrooms and research labs that face the central stairwell and lobby have a glass wall which helps them to have visual connections. This helps in improving students’ mental health as well as the created happening environment. 

Some of their other works are the University of Missouri- St. Louis Wellness, Jack Nicklaus Golf Club of South Korea, Richmond Olympic Oval, Canada, Morgridge Family Exploration Centre, Sparkling Hill Resort & Wellness Hotel, Canada, Tata Consultancy Services, Kolkata, India, Museum of Tolerance, Jerusalem, etc.

Some examples of their work

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Museum of Tolerance, Jerusalem_©
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Tata Consultancy Services, Software Development Campus, Kolkata, India_©
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Jack Nicklaus Golf Club of South Korea_©

They are recognized as one of the leading design firms in the world. All of their buildings reflect their values and their approach towards design. This firm has created a unique idea that somehow shows how deeply they think to connect architecture with humanity, with society. From their first project which is Niagara Falls City Hall to their latest project, Purdue University Northwest Nils K. Nelson Bioscience Innovation Building all of them created an impact. This firm has won lots of awards in 2017- 2021 and right now working on lots of other projects. With their creative mind, they are all set for their upcoming challenges and their members use to say ‘they are just getting started.

Reference list

  • Cannon design (2016). Living-Centered Design. [online]. (Last updated 2021). Available at: [Accessed 17 October 2021]
  • Structure point (2020). Nils K. Nelson Bioscience Innovation Building, Purdue University Northwest.

A budding artist, poet and dancer by passion and an architecture student by profession pursuing 3rd Year in architecture from MBS SPA, New Delhi. Highly passionate about architecture also understands the language of art, currently running an art page showcasing her own art skills and now here to improve her skills on creative writing towards architecture. Life is a journey with lots of experience and she is here to acquire another set of experience.