Canandaigua VAMC –
An Architectural Cadence
The traditional call-and-response military work song performed in unison by military personnel while marching is known as a cadence call. Military cadences provided structure and order for the life-world for each squadron/platoon; taking on many forms of songs from “Jody” calls to Reverent, from Comedic to Controversial. The rhythm, stress and pitch (i.e., prosody) of the cadence works on two distinct “incomplete” levels – one soldier initiates a line and the remaining soldiers complete it, thus uniting the individual squadron(s) towards full consummation of affects from speech through bodily movement in the form of a march. As a result, the cadence calls are oral military folklore whose techniques are used to instill camaraderie and teamwork in the daily life-world of the military.
The translation(s) of cadence call(s) for this project’s architectural work provides a familiar context to the understanding of the various layers of meaning inscribed in its ordered form; uniting together the continuum of care proposed to the Canandaigua VA Campus.
Analogous to the cadence call operation, the relationship of the old and the new provide context to enter into the history of the VA Campus and community alike. The rehabilitation of historical edifice - Building 14 - provides the historical frame of reference and initiates a form of architectural vernacular for the new work to respond to - here and now, chapters of understanding for the Veterans daily life.
The continuum of care community is comprised in the form of 15-Bed Congregate Living, 8-Unit Transitional Housing, and a 12-Bed Family Apartments offers an analogous relationship to the scale of a Military Platoon, with three (3) separate squadrons forming one (1) complete platoon. Traditional Military Platoons are comprised of a total of 36 military personnel. This project’s cadence as a thing in-itself is considered incomplete; which equates to 35 total persons (i.e., one shy of 36). However, the cadence becomes temporarily fulfilled with action through the participation of the community (i.e., VA and Canandaigua) in the area dedicated as a Museum Theater.