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CannonDesign/Mark Mendell Studio honors long-standing partnership

A signature studio located on the second floor of UB’s historic and fully renovated Hayes Hall, the CannonDesign/Mark Mendell Studio honors CannonDesign's commitment to UB's future architects. 

Published May 23, 2017

CannonDesign has made a leadership gift to the School of Architecture and Planning in recognition of the firm’s deep connections to the school and as tribute to former CannonDesign President and Co-Chairman Mark Mendell, who served as a founding member of the school’s Dean’s Council.

The CannonDesign/Mark Mendell Studio, a collaborative design workspace in Hayes Hall for graduate architecture students, was dedicated at a formal reception in Hayes Hall on Friday, May 19.

The support comes on top of the firm’s recent reinforcement of its CannonDesign Scholars program, which for nearly 20 years has provided tuition scholarships and internship opportunities to top students in the undergraduate architecture program. Many of those scholars now hold leadership positions with the firm.

A global design firm that operates 15 offices around the world, CannonDesign maintains a strong presence in Buffalo. The proximity to UB has fostered a long and diverse history of engagement across the two organizations – from student internships and mentoring, to employment for graduates, to research partnerships with faculty.

There are more than two dozen UB graduates currently working out of the firm’s Buffalo office, with more scattered in its offices around the world. Firm leaders and associates are also regular guest critics; others have held adjunct faculty roles over the years. 

Family and friends of Mark Mendell and colleagues from CannonDesign and the school came together on Friday, May 19, to honor Mark and the CannonDesign-UB partnership. From left to right: Michael Tunkey, principal, CannonDesign; Bradley Lukanic, CEO, CannonDesign; Nathaniel Mendell; Raquel Halty; and Dean Robert Shibley.

“CannonDesign is a major global player in the architecture and design professions, providing invaluable opportunities for on-the-ground learning and knowledge exchange,” says Dean Robert G. Shibley. “Mark Mendell, a close friend and staunch advocate for our school, exemplified this deep commitment to the advancement of our program and the profession.”

The CannonDesign/Mark Mendell Studio celebrates former CannonDesign President and Co-Chairman Mark Mendell, a founding member of our Dean’s Council and staunch advocate of the school.

Mark Mendell, who died last fall at the age of 77, was among six founding members of the school’s Dean’s Council. Serving from 2013-2016, he played a pivotal role in the maturation of the Council and the school. CannonDesign CEO Brad Lukanic, AIA, continues this relationship as one of the Council’s newest members. 

“This signature studio in Hayes Hall is a fitting space to honor this long-standing partnership,” Shibley continued. 

Located on the second floor of UB’s historic and fully renovated Hayes Hall, the studio features 25-foot ceilings, exposed structural systems and three walls of windows.

“The CannonDesign/Mark Mendell Studio reinforces our firm’s commitment to UB’s School of Architecture and Planning, as well celebrating our mentor and friend,” said Lukanic.

“My participation on the Dean’s Council wouldn’t exist without Mark’s efforts as a charter member. Mark’s vision guided CannonDesign; we hope his legacy inspires UB students to impact the future of design.” 

Mark’s career with CannonDesign spanned 41 years. Under his direction, the firm advanced to among the top 10 design firms in the world, ranked by World Architecture, Design Intelligence and Building Design and Construction.

The school has also recognized Mendell with its 2017 Dean’s Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the school, in recognition of his leadership contributions to the profession and school. The award was presented to Mendell’s family at the school’s commencement ceremony on Friday at UB’s Center for the Arts.