Increasingly, leading interdisciplinary businesses like Katerra and WeWork are expanding their offerings, with the ultimate goal of serving as one-stop-shops for planning, design, construction, and post-occupancy services for their clients. Multinational firm CannonDesign continues to march toward a similar business model with its ongoing expansion plan. Since November 2017, the practice has made four acquisitions of architecture firms, and today, CannonDesign announced its acquisition of Ann Arbor, Mich–based healthcare consulting firm Blue Cottage Consulting.
Founded in 2009 and led by health management and policy specialist Juliet L. Rogers, Blue Cottage is typically brought on once a project is underway to help with facility and operations planning and employee training, among other services. While Blue Cottage has worked with around 15 different architecture practices on various healthcare design projects over the last year, Rogers "saw the synergies immediately" with CannonDesign. Ultimately, each firm realized it could offer clients a more streamlined experience by joining forces.
"What clients really want is someone who can be with them from start to finish," Rogers tells ARCHITECT. "With this partnership [we are going to be able to participate in] all phases of a project and ensure that that vision that is at the beginning is realized at the end and that we can optimize any facility or any operation in general."
"This is not like other mergers," CannonDesign CEO Brad Lukanic, AIA, tells ARCHITECT of a move that he hopes will "reinforce the idea of a design spectrum."
Going forward, the 24-person group will operate as the brand Blue Cottage of CannonDesign, with Rogers serving as its president. "Blue Cottage of CannonDesign is part of our strategic framework to expand the services beyond the traditional AE or AEC," Lukanic continues.
As part of this new relationship, CannonDesign's existing healthcare consulting group will be folded into Blue Cottage of CannonDesign, which will offer services including strategic transformation, design thinking, signature clinical planning, space and functional programming, operational planning, lean workflow, change management, and transition, move, and activation planning, according to a press release. According to the same release, the new group plans to triple in size soon after the transition.