USG's Kendall Center Earns AIA "Public Building of the Year" Award

USG's Camille Kendall Academic Center

ROCKVILLE, Md. (October 24, 2007) – The new 192,000-square-foot academic building at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) in Rockville, Maryland, was recently awarded “Public Building of the Year” by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) of Maryland.  The Baltimore Office of Cannon Design earned the award, which recognizes excellence in design by architectural firms located within the state.  Cannon is a nationally ranked architecture and engineering firm specializing in higher education, healthcare, and life sciences facilities. 

The new Camille Kendall Academic Center is the largest “green” higher education building in the state of Maryland and one of the first University System of Maryland (USM) buildings to achieve a LEED®-Gold certification.  The certification, which is awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council, reflects adherence to stringent sustainable design and construction measures that protect and preserve natural resources.  The building’s “green” features include roof gardens, an energy-conserving HVAC and water system, recycled building materials, and the use of sustainable materials such as wheat board, bamboo flooring, and banana fiber tables.

“The Camille Kendall Academic Center truly represents the future of higher education facilities and the direction of our university system,” said USM Chancellor William E. Kirwan. “Sustainability is the paradigm that will shape our policies and practices as we work to confront the challenges of climate change. This new center demonstrates that ‘good’ design and ‘green’ design can go hand-in-hand.”

The jury for the Maryland AIA awards program noted that the building is composed of a “learning village that combines classrooms, multimedia, and office space organized along a sizable front corridor that results in a highly interactive space.  We were taken by the amount of daylight that enters into all of the spaces by way of public areas.  There are ample opportunities for chance meetings of students to students, student to teacher, and teacher to teacher as they move through the handsome variety of interior spaces that act like urban pathways…This project captures the spirit of the category of Public Building of the Year.”

The Camille Kendall Academic Center allows the campus to more than triple the student enrollment capacity to 6,000 students.  It is the centerpiece of the 50-acre campus with its state-of-the-art features including 45 “smart” classrooms, 10 computer classrooms, 2 open computer laboratories, as well as distance-learning classrooms, administrative and faculty offices, and a 20,000 square-foot library.  It offers expansive student services, student lounges, study areas, a 200-seat dining hall, a bookstore operated by Barnes & Noble, and fitness center.

The center is named for Camille Kendall, a leading Montgomery County philanthropist with a long record of supporting higher education in the area.  Camille and her husband Cliff, a University of Maryland alumni and chairman of the USM Board of Regents, have donated more than $3 million for endowed scholarships at USG to aid transfer students and students who demonstrate financial need, great potential for success, and a spirit of community service.

The USG project has been the subject of several presentations by Cannon Design and the university for the Society of College and University Planning.  In addition to Cannon Design, design/construction team members include FON Architects as the associate architect and Skanska as the construction manager.

The Universities at Shady Grove is an innovative model for delivering top-quality higher education programs.  USG is not one university; instead it is a collaboration of eight leading public universities in Maryland offering more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Montgomery County.  Established in 2000, the USG campus currently serves 2,600 full- and part-time students who take classes days, evenings, and weekends.  Participating USM institutions include Bowie State University; Towson University; University of Baltimore; University of Maryland, Baltimore; University of Maryland, Baltimore County; University of Maryland, College Park; University of Maryland Eastern Shore; and University of Maryland University College.

Cannon Design is ranked among the leading North American firms in planning and design for healthcare, science & technology, education, government, sports & recreation and civic/justice projects.  At present, the firm employs a staff of over 750, delivering services in 14 offices throughout North America, as well as abroad in Shanghai, China.


Contact: John Buettner
Phone: 301.445.2719