Laboratory Design spoke with Bryan Cannon, AIA, Design Principal with HGA Architects and Engineers in Washington, D.C.
What made you decide to pursue your particular career?
My parents were very interested in building—I grew up in a series of construction sites disguised as houses. My dad collected books by the great architectural photographers of his era. I grew up looking at really well-composed pictures of seriously beautiful buildings, and I really liked imagining what it would be like to live and work in such places.
Is there a particular facility you’ve worked on that stands out in your mind? What is it and why do you remember it?
My first research building was for the Carnegie Institution for Science. I was really alarmed when I saw my first lab space in their old building; it was not a place I could imagine spending time in but it really supported a culture of intense discussion and respectful critique. The client’s leadership team had a wonderful vision for how scientists should work together. They had thought a lot about how and when researchers really spend time talking among themselves, and how scientists at different stages of their careers interact. They started with a strong concept, described only in words. We miraculously gave them a building design that supports their mission, and it’s a very nice place to work. I learned the timeless lesson that if they hang out, scientists often do so over pieces of scientific equipment, not so much sitting on Barcelona chairs.
Read the complete interview in Laboratory Design Magazine.