Cuningham Group’s Founding Story — By John Cuningham

October 1968

I always tell people that I became an architect because of James Stageberg. He was my professor at the University of Minnesota as well as a mentor and friend. He hired me immediately after graduation in 1962 and I became a partner in his firm at age 27.

Firm’s First Award

January 1971
Firm’s First Award

The Lake Grace Recreational Pavilion in Jonathan, Minnesota is awarded the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Award.

Vision-Based Planning™

January 1972

John Cuningham received a grant from the Ford Foundation and created Consensus Planning, an interactive, planning model which set the foundation for everything the firm has accomplished in K-12 Educational Design.

Read more

Chelsea Woods

June 1975
Chelsea Woods

More than four decades later, one of Cuningham Group’s earliest projects is still a thriving community.

Read more

Merrill Mansion

February 1978
Merrill Mansion

In 1978, Cuningham Group had its office in the Eugene A. Merrill House in Minneapolis.

Read more

Cuningham Architecture

September 1983
Cuningham Architecture

The firm formally changes name to Cuningham Architects.

Read more

Breck School Chapel of the Holy Spirit

September 1984
Breck School Chapel of the Holy Spirit

Cuningham Group designs Breck School’s iconic Chapel of the Holy Spirit in Golden Valley, Minnesota.

Read more

Lehmberg Gazebo

November 1984
Lehmberg Gazebo

Cuningham Group receives its first AIA Honor Award from Minnesota AIA for work on the Lehmberg Gazebo in Saint Louis Park, Minnesota.

Grand Casino Mille Lacs

June 1991
Grand Casino Mille Lacs

Cuningham Group teams up with the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Indians and the newly incorporated Grand Casino, Inc., one of the largest gaming companies in the United States today, to create the original Grand Casino Mille Lacs.

Read more

First Major Education Award

February 1992
First Major Education Award

Receives the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) Shirley Cooper Award for Design Excellence in Schools

Read more

Firm Wins IFRAA Award

November 1992
Firm Wins IFRAA Award

The House of Prayer Retreat Center, designed by Cuningham Group and led by John Cuningham, won the Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art and Architecture (IFRAA) Design Award for Religious Architecture and the Minnesota Society of the AIA Honor Award.

Read more

Epic Systems Corporation

June 1996
Epic Systems Corporation

Begins designing the corporate headquarters of Epic Systems Corporation in Madison and Verona, Wisconsin.

Read more

Los Angeles

July 1996
Los Angeles

The firm expands to California and begins working with major entertainment clients.

Read more

STAR TREK: The Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton

December 1998
STAR TREK: The Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton

STAR TREK: The Experience™ at the Las Vegas Hilton brings the magic of Hollywood to the Las Vegas entertainment market.

Read more

Urban Currents

June 1999
Urban Currents

Launches a monthly community forum, Metro Matters – now called Urban Currents, as a way to discuss important local issues.

Read more

Heinävaara Elementary School opens

September 1999
Heinävaara Elementary School opens

Juhani Rouvinen, the mayor of Heinävaara, Finland, and architect Antero Turkki attended a conference in Helsinki where they listened to a representative from Cuningham Group speak about the latest research on how children learn in different ways and what that meant for school design.

Read more

Monograph on Sustainable Design

March 2001
Monograph on Sustainable Design

Cuningham Group is commissioned by NCARB to write the first monograph on Sustainable Design.

People’s Republic of China

January 2002

Cuningham Group opens an office in Beijing, China, launching its themed destination design work in Asia.

Republic of Korea

August 2005
Republic of Korea

Cuningham Group opens office in Seoul, Korea, expanding its themed destination work in Asia.

Lotte World

July 2007
Lotte World

Lotte World, located in Seoul, Korea, is the world’s largest indoor theme park. It opens after a multi-million-dollar renewal project led by Cuningham Group.

Read more

Arkansas House of Prayer

February 2008
Arkansas House of Prayer

A meditative space designed to blend into the surrounding natural area.

Read more

Themed Entertainment Sustainability Summit®

April 2008
Themed Entertainment Sustainability Summit®

Hosts the inaugural TESS® event (Themed Entertainment Sustainability Summit).

Read more

40th Anniversary

July 2008
40th Anniversary

Celebrates 40th anniversary by holding a Habitat for Humanity “Brush with Kindness” event.

Read more

Lompoc Valley Medical Center

January 2010
Lompoc Valley Medical Center

Cuningham Group was hired to build a replacement hospital and challenged with balancing the needs of the hospital against rising construction costs while maintaining a high level of quality.

Read more

Gold Nugget Award of Merit

July 2012
Gold Nugget Award of Merit

The Avenue in Hollywood, California, receives a Gold Nugget Award of Merit.

Read more

Alpensia Resort, Site of 2018 Winter Olympics

August 2012
Alpensia Resort, Site of 2018 Winter Olympics

Cuningham Group is the designer of the home of the 2018 Olympics in South Korea.

Read more

Douglas & Nancy Barnhart Cancer Center

September 2012
Douglas & Nancy Barnhart Cancer Center

The patient-centered design offers unique linear accelerator treatment rooms.

Read more

San Diego & Phoenix

February 2013

The firm expands its healthcare market reach with new offices in San Diego and Phoenix.

Firm of the Year

September 2013
Firm of the Year

Awarded Firm of the Year by AIA Minnesota.

Alexandria Area High School

September 2014
Alexandria Area High School

The innovative school was designed in collaboration with the Alexandria community.

Read more

The BOATHOUSE® at Disney Springs

April 2015
The BOATHOUSE® at Disney Springs

The BOATHOUSE® opens at Walt Disney World® Resort in Disney Springs®, Orlando. The highly successful entertainment attraction is one of five restaurants that Cuningham Group has designed on the property.

Read more

First Hotel in Wisconsin to Attain LEED Gold®

April 2015
First Hotel in Wisconsin to Attain LEED Gold®

Potawatomi Hotel & Casino is the first casino hotel in Wisconsin to attain LEED® Gold certification.

Read more

Epic’s Deep Space

December 2016
Epic’s Deep Space

Epic Systems’ Deep Space is the world’s largest sub-surface auditorium.

Read more

Northfield at Stapleton

November 2017
Northfield at Stapleton

Designs first affordable apartment project using Denver’s Revolving Affordable Housing Loan Fund.

Read more

Pathways Innovation Center & Roosevelt High School

December 2017
Pathways Innovation Center & Roosevelt High School

Pathways Innovation Center & Roosevelt High School is awarded the Project of Distinction by the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE).

Read more

Cuningham Group Celebrates 50 Years!

October 2018