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Selected Works Spring 2018 Blaise Cannon

Table of Contents

01 | Fundamentals 02 | SOM 03 | International Architects Atelier

DUBAI LIGHTHOUSE © Ateliers Jean Nouvel

04 | Ateliers Jean Nouvel 05 | Academic 06 | Art

01 Fundamentals Design provides a framework for us to investigate the margins and collisions of the underlying forces in our world. My work is about exposing these dynamics. The challenge of manifesting the work of our imagination is the primary objective of Architecture. In the proceeding pages there are some examples of this translation. The fundamental tension between design aspiration and production is ever-present, and my ongoing pursuit is to saliently usher work from conception to realization.

+ Skidmore, Owings & Merill LLP (San Francisco) June 2016 - Present + International Architects Atelier (Kansas City) January 2016 - June 2016 + Ateliers Jean Nouvel / HW Architects (Paris) June 2015 - December 2015 + University of Kansas 2016 - M.Arch + University of Kansas 2011 - B.A. Philosophy

Building 2A Research Lab

Building 3A Research Lab

Building 1D Dining Hall

02 Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP Since the project was awarded in mid-2016, SOM has been working to deliver several buildings as well as performing master architect services for the UC - Merced 2020 Campus Expansion. This project is configured as a public-private-partnership (P3). The nature of this kind of work implies strict cost control based on guaranteed prices generated from competition phase estimates. Perhaps even more acute than the cost limitations is the highly accelerated schedule.

My role on this job ranged from exterior wall detail and structural coordination on the Central Dining Facility (1D) to document control on the medium research lab (2A) evolving into a primary late-stage design and subcontractor coordination role on the large research lab (3A). The particular challenge with the architecture of building 3A is the concentration of unique and highsecurity lab typologies. These areas underneath the entrance exterior and lobby took shape well into DD.

Campus Masterplan from the North 1D 2A 3A

Campus Masterplan from the South

3A 2A 1D

[1D] Rendering

[1D] Reality

East Elevation

Transverse section 01

Transverse section 02

[2A] Rendering

[2A] Reality

[3A] Rendering - Reality coming 2020...

The design, documentation and construction administration experience on the UC Merced projects at SOM revolved around a legacy dating back to the inception of the masterplan outside of Merced, California 15 years ago. Through partnering with Plenary Group, Webcor Builders and Johnson Controls, SOM set out to contribute to doubling the size of the campus in four years on-time and on-budget. In doing so, team members like myself had to take on leadership roles to push through short phase turnarounds and late stage design changes.

As Building 3A developed, the coordination of this area became increasingly critical given its requirement for an interstitial mechanical level above the ceiling of the suite to allow for considerable MEP clearances as well as an occupiable platform to provide maintenance for the secure laboratories below without breaching the bio-security containment. This began prior to the 50% Construction Document issuance with an A/E-led BIM clash detection that evolved into a contractor-led semiweekly clash detection with sub-contractor BIM models.

Shepherding the design and post-schematic iterative implementation of the Vivarium and BSL-3 laboratory suite required a keen ability to manage consultants while maintaining design fidelity as resulting changes to the structure of this flat slab concrete building affected all levels from the basement suite to the roof.

Throughout these projects, the process required daily use of Revit, Navisworks and Glue for documentation and coordination which helped me to develop a highlevel of proficiency. Design studies were often conducted using AutoCAD and Rhino3D, while my project management duties were carried out using NewForma, Microsoft Excel and near-constant communication.

03 International Architects Atelier For a cultural institution, an historical urban fabric can serve as both inspiration and antagonist to its architectural aspirations, and sometimes both simultaneously. This dialog can often result in some of the most exciting and unexpected design opportunities. A supremely unique and informative experiences is coming into a project with tremendous institutional and service history where you are expected to embed as much

as possible into your work. The Kansas City Museum Master Plan was a project that had been ongoing at IAA for several years and reflected much prior work. For this fundraising package the team was asked to put together a final-phase design that unified the historic site with a contemporary pavilion that also reflected the legacy of the Long Family’s residence and lumber empire. The timber soffit guarded by a responsive frit pattern seeks to engage and elevate that seemingly simple narrative.

Center points of transverse contours project to create rational arc with variable plenum for dynamic structure


04 Atelier Jean Nouvel

‘Architecture is about harnessing the will, desire and skills of a handful of people in order to modify a place at a given point in time. Architecture is never something you create alone. You always create it somewhere in particular, at the request of one person or several people, but always for everyone to enjoy.’ - Jean Nouvel (Louvre Abu Dhabi © Ateliers Jean Nouvel) Most of 2015 was spent in Paris learning to navigate this tension between institution and context, conception and realization. The rapid re-design of the Grand Vestibule is a prime example of successful navigation. Reality





The Café envelopes guests with the sights and colors of the sun, sea and skyline projected on the furniture, walls and ceiling when facing the windows but remains crystalline white when facing back toward the museum.

My task was to produce coordination drawings that numbered and mapped each of the over 15,000 blades to the corresponding portion of the composite image. LOUVRE ABU DHABI


(Louvre Abu Dhabi © Ateliers Jean Nouvel)



Clockwise from top right: Inside the Café looking South, Café looking North, Café exterior from gallery terrace All photographs courtesy of Out & About UAE

KU Integrated Science Building - Auditorium perspective

05 Academic A background in academic philosophy provided the ideal foundation for a cultural center at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, KS (bottom right). The primary goal was to create a space to serve the campus, the local community as well as Native American heritage at-large. One of these allusions took the form of a central extrusion containing the primary program on each level and emerging through the roof as with some traditional house typologies. The Three Trees

Community Building (top right) grew up on a narrow N/S urban-infill site. This provided my first experience coordinating with engineers to design the woven glulam diagrid “trees� that begin in the basement carrying utilities to the apartments above. The Integrated Science Building (above) was a team project for the comprehensive studio exploring a technical typology in the context of collaborative space innovation. The images produced were intended to convey this objective.

Three Trees Community Building Above, clockwise from top right: Morphological study model, diagrid tube structural study model, Sectional study model @ 1/2" = 1"-0", final model @ 1/16" = 1'-0"

Cloud Cultural Center @ Haskell University Longitudinal section revealing vertical stacked hearth echoing kiva house typologies

06 Art

Most art is a manifestation of a sort of narcissism, and so it only makes sense that the two easiest subjects are the self and art it-self. In this series entitled Logical Conclusion, I examined five of Pablo Picasso’s self portraits in order to lean on the reductive geometric systems that came to define Cubism and evolved heavily in Picasso’s work over his life. The resulting image is simply a snapshot in what could be an algorithm containing infinite rules whereby each successive iteration is equal. Its final form is never final but merely a resting place. The images exhibited may have some purely aesthetic value but the six previous steps were displayed with the same prominence. The entry point into the algorithm was not arbitrary but the generation of each work was automated in order to omit an artist’s touch. Even I am left a bit uncomfortable with questions of authenticity and authorship. Is this a collaboration between us? Is that arrogant to even consider? ‘Us’ would surely need to include those who carefully created the tools used to generate this process. In the initial stopping point shown, the haptic character of a painting is stripped and the fundamental tension between actual and virtual is left to hover over the work. By oscillating between analog and digital modes we learn more about each and elements of preceding phases are exposed and clarified. This process is defined to reject the premise that technology is a threat to the tactile but instead starts a new narrative that celebrates their relationship. Perhaps the next iteration should be a process of translating the geometry of the colored regions to a canvas and painting each one with colors generated from RGB as the work’s evolution continues to unfold.

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