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New Renderings of Penn Station's $1.6 Billion Renovation Released as Project Gets Greenlight

16:20 - 19 June, 2017
New Renderings of Penn Station's $1.6 Billion Renovation Released as Project Gets Greenlight, © SOM
© SOM

New York City’s fast-tracked Penn Station transformation project is moving forward, as Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the closing of the $1.6 billion deal to redevelop a large section of the James A. Farley Post Office into the new “Moynihan Train Hall.”

The project will consist of a new 255,000-square-foot terminal for the Long Island Railroad and Amtrak, increasing Penn Station’s total concourse floor space by more than 50 percent, while an additional 700,000 square feet will be developed for commercial, retail and dining spaces to create a new mixed-use civic space for West Manhattan. 

© SOM © SOM © SOM © SOM +17

Architect Sues SOM for Stealing One World Trade Center Design

16:00 - 15 June, 2017
Architect Sues SOM for Stealing One World Trade Center Design, Park’s Cityfront ’99 design (left) compared to One World Trade Center (right). Image via 6sqft
Park’s Cityfront ’99 design (left) compared to One World Trade Center (right). Image via 6sqft

Architect Jeehoon Park has filed a lawsuit against Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), claiming the design of New York City’s One World Trade Center was stolen from a project he developed as a graduate student at the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1999.

The lawsuit states that the 104-story One World Trade bears a “striking similarity” to his 122-story “Cityfront ‘99” tower, which also featured a glass facade of inverted triangular planes.

These Are the World’s 25 Tallest Buildings

08:00 - 10 May, 2017

Humanity has become obsessed with breaking its limits, creating new records only to break them again and again. In fact, our cities’ skylines have always been defined by those in power during every period in history. At one point churches left their mark, followed by public institutions and in the last few decades, it's commercial skyscrapers that continue to stretch taller and taller. 

But when it comes to defining which buildings are the tallest it can get complicated. Do antennas and other gadgets on top of the building count as extra meters? What happens if the last floor is uninhabitable? The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has developed their own system for classifying tall buildings, measuring from the “level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the architectural top of the building, including spires, but not including antennae, signage, flag poles or other functional-technical equipment.” Using this system more than 3,400 buildings have been categorized as over 150 meters tall. 

Spotlight: Gordon Bunshaft

10:30 - 9 May, 2017
Lever House. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/gaf/15726775064'>Flickr user gaf</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a>
Lever House. Image © Flickr user gaf licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

As lead designer of the Lever House and many of America’s most historically prominent buildings, Pritzker Prize-winning architect Gordon Bunshaft (9 May 1909 – 6 August 1990) is credited with ushering in a new era of Modernist skyscraper design and corporate architecture. A stern figure and a loyal advocate of the International Style, Bunshaft spent the majority of his career as partner and lead designer for SOM, who have referred to him as “a titan of industry, a decisive army general, an architectural John Wayne.”

Hajj Terminal at King Abdulaziz Airport, Jeddah. Image © SOM - Jay Langlois | Owens-Corning Beinecke Rare Book Library. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/joevare/5524134719'>Flickr user joevare</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-ND 2.0</a> Solow Buliding. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Solow_Building_New_York_August_2012.jpg'>Wikimedia user King of Hearts</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a> W.R. Grace Building. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:W._R._Grace_Building,_New_York,_NY_10018,_USA_-_Jan_2013.jpg'>Wikimedia user WestportWiki</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a> +9

Vertical Village - SOM Leads Design of Major Mixed-Use District in Bangkok

16:00 - 16 April, 2017
Vertical Village - SOM Leads Design of Major Mixed-Use District in Bangkok, One Bangkok will provide retail, hotels, offices, as well as homes for 60,000 people. Image Courtesy of SOM via Atchain
One Bangkok will provide retail, hotels, offices, as well as homes for 60,000 people. Image Courtesy of SOM via Atchain

Chicago-based Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM) has unveiled plans for One Bangkok, a new 16Ha mixed-use development in the heart of Bangkok, Thailand. Working in collaboration with architects, engineers, sustainability experts and landscape architects, both local and international, SOM seeks to create the single largest private-sector development in Thailand to date - a vertical village providing homes and places of work for an estimated 60,000 people. Through One Bangkok, SOM challenged themselves to translate the vibrancy and energy of Bangkok's neighborhoods into a vertical environment, whilst promoting a 'sense of place' and district-level sustainability. 

One Bangkok will provide retail, hotels, offices, as well as homes for 60,000 people. Image Courtesy of SOM via Atchain Situated adjacent to Lumphini Park, the scheme offers 8Ha of public space. Image Courtesy of SOM via Atchain Streetscapes, public plazas and greenspaces all contribute to a welcoming sense of place. Image Courtesy of SOM via Atchain A variety of towers will feature individual identities such as green terraces and sky gardens. Image Courtesy of SOM via Atchain +4

SOM to Lead Major Restoration of New York's Waldorf Astoria

14:25 - 29 March, 2017
SOM to Lead Major Restoration of New York's Waldorf Astoria, Lobby. Image © Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP/ rendering by Methanoia Inc.
Lobby. Image © Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP/ rendering by Methanoia Inc.

The Waldorf Astoria New York has released plans for a top to bottom restoration and revitalization of the building’s historically landmarked exterior and interior space, to be carried out by architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) and interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon (PYR). If approved by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, the restoration will be among the most complex and intensive landmark preservation efforts in New York City history.

3 Top Architects Selected to Design Community-Oriented Housing Library Developments in Chicago

12:20 - 24 March, 2017
3 Top Architects Selected to Design Community-Oriented Housing Library Developments in Chicago, Initial renderings for the Roosevelt Branch, designed by SOM. Image Courtesy of The Chicago Housing Authority
Initial renderings for the Roosevelt Branch, designed by SOM. Image Courtesy of The Chicago Housing Authority

The City of Chicago and the Chicago Housing Authority have announced the selection of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), Perkins + Will and John Ronan Architects to lead in the design of three new “co-located” affordable housing and library developments in the Chicago neighborhoods of Little Italy, West Ridge, and Irving Park.

Selected from a shortlist of nine firms, the three Chicago-based teams were chosen for their “innovative ideas that will ensure that each community will have a design that best reflects its needs.” The practices will work intimately with their respective communities to develop their designs.

Initial renderings for the Roosevelt Branch, designed by SOM. Image Courtesy of The Chicago Housing Authority The Northtown Branch at Western and Pratt avenues in West Ridge will be designed by Perkins + Will. Image Courtesy of The Chicago Housing Authority The design of the Independence Branch at 4022 N. Elston in Irving Park will be lead be John Ronan Architects. Image Courtesy of The Chicago Housing Authority SOM will design the Roosevelt Branch at Taylor and Ada streets on the Near West Side (Little Italy). Image Courtesy of The Chicago Housing Authority +4

Barnard College Releases SOM Design for New Milstein Center

14:00 - 11 March, 2017

New York City’s Barnard College has announced its newest project, the Cheryl and Philp Milstein Teaching and Learning Center, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM).

Serving as a new academic hub at the heart of the Morningside Heights campus, the 128,000-square-foot building will house a “new kind of library that incorporates technologies and learning spaces in an interactive setting and creates an inviting environment that benefits from green spaces.”

SOM's Inclusive Riverfront Set to Revitalise Detroit

14:00 - 5 March, 2017
SOM's Inclusive Riverfront Set to Revitalise Detroit, The Historic Stone Soap Building will be upgraded to a mixed-use development, increasing density and activity along the riverfront. Image Courtesy of City of Detroit
The Historic Stone Soap Building will be upgraded to a mixed-use development, increasing density and activity along the riverfront. Image Courtesy of City of Detroit

Chicago-based SOM’s plans for the redevelopment of the East Riverfront in Detroit, Michigan have been unveiled. The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, and City of Detroit Planning and Development Department will work together to deliver SOM’s plan to revitalize the former blighted industrial area. The framework plan involves improving community access to the riverfront, the design of a new riverfront parkland, and the conversion of a historic riverfront structure into a mixed-use development.

An upgrade of the urban landscape along the Detroit River will begin in 2017. Image Courtesy of City of Detroit The Historic Stone Soap Building will be upgraded to a mixed-use development, increasing density and activity along the riverfront. Image Courtesy of City of Detroit Nearly eight acres of land will be devoted to open green space. Image Courtesy of City of Detroit Protected cycle paths will link the riverfront with neighbourhoods to the north. Image Courtesy of City of Detroit +5

SOM, LMN Architects Among Winners of AIA Urban Design Honor Awards

12:20 - 24 January, 2017
SOM, LMN Architects Among Winners of AIA Urban Design Honor Awards

In addition to the 18 architectural projects selected as recipients of the 2017 Institute Honor Awards, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) have also named 5 projects as winners of the 2017 Institute Honor Awards for Regional & Urban Design.

The Unexpected Stories Behind 10 Skyscrapers That Were Actually Built

04:00 - 24 January, 2017
The Unexpected Stories Behind 10 Skyscrapers That Were Actually Built, Torre Velasca. Image © José Tomás Franco
Torre Velasca. Image © José Tomás Franco

As long as there have been buildings mankind has sought to construct its way to the heavens. From stone pyramids to steel skyscrapers, successive generations of designers have devised ever more innovative ways to push the vertical boundaries of architecture. Whether stone or steel, however, each attempt to reach unprecedented heights has represented a vast undertaking in terms of both materials and labor – and the more complex the project, the greater the chance for things to go awry.

Ryugyong Hotel. Image © José Tomás Franco Robot Building. Image © José Tomás Franco CCTV Headquarters. Image © José Tomás Franco Cayan Tower. Image © José Tomás Franco +21

SOM's "Alternative Christmas Tree" Rises at Utzon Center in Denmark

16:00 - 8 December, 2016
SOM's "Alternative Christmas Tree" Rises at Utzon Center in Denmark, © 2016 Allan Toft
© 2016 Allan Toft

An “alternative Christmas tree” designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) has been erected in the courtyard of the Utzon Center, coinciding with SOM’s current exhibition, ‘Sky’s the Limit’. Located on the waterfront in Aalborg, Denmark, the Utzon Center was the last project to be designed by the center’s namesake, renowned Danish architect Jørn Utzon.

© 2016 Allan Toft © 2016 Allan Toft © 2016 Allan Toft © 2016 Allan Toft +18

Shanghai Tower Wins 2015 Emporis Skyscraper Award

15:21 - 22 November, 2016
Shanghai Tower Wins 2015 Emporis Skyscraper Award

Gensler's Shanghai Tower has won the 2015 Emporis Skyscraper Award. Selected from over 300 buildings of over 100 meters in height completed in 2015, the Emporis jury was impressed by the Shanghai Tower's "elegant spiraling cylindrical shape," and the "extraordinary energy efficiency" provided, in part, by the building's double-skin facade.

Currently the world's second tallest building at 632 meters, the Shanghai Tower becomes the second Chinese building to win the Emporis award, after Zaha Hadid Architects' Wangjing SOHO took the prize last year. In addition to Gensler's first-place project, Emporis also recognized 9 runners-up including Rafael Viñoly Architects' 432 Park Avenue, Arquitectonica's Icon Bay in Miami, and the Evolution Tower in Moscow by Kettle Collective and RMJM Edinburgh. Read on to see all ten awarded projects.

Two Buildings by Renzo Piano Near Completion at Columbia University's New Manhattanville Campus

15:01 - 25 October, 2016
Two Buildings by Renzo Piano Near Completion at Columbia University's New Manhattanville Campus, Lenfest Center for the Arts (left) and Jerome L. Greene Science Center (right). Image © Columbia University / Frank Oudeman
Lenfest Center for the Arts (left) and Jerome L. Greene Science Center (right). Image © Columbia University / Frank Oudeman

The first stage of Columbia University’s new Manhattanville Campus, consisting of two buildings by Renzo Piano Building Workshop, is nearly complete, with a move-in and grand opening slated for spring 2017.

The Piano-designed Jerome L Greene Science Center and Lenfest Center for the Arts are the first two buildings to be completed within the larger campus masterplan, conceived by Piano in collaboration with SOM, that will eventually encompass nearly 19-acres between 125th and 133rd streets in northwestern Manhattan.

Jerome L. Greene Science Center, seen from the southeast. Image © Columbia University / Frank Oudeman Jerome L. Greene Science Center, seen from the 125th Street #1 train subway platform. Image © Columbia University / Frank Oudeman Jerome L. Greene Science Center: Collabora- tive meeting spaces and open-air staircases that connect two  oors. Image © Columbia University / Frank Oudeman Jerome L. Greene Science Center: Double-height meeting and interactive spaces. Image © Columbia University / Frank Oudeman +13

The Names and Numbers Behind the World’s 100 Tallest Buildings

16:10 - 14 October, 2016
The Names and Numbers Behind the World’s 100 Tallest Buildings, via CTBUH
via CTBUH

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has released some of the facts and figures behind the projects appearing in their recent book, 100 of the World’s Tallest Buildings. The construction of tall buildings requires collaboration between many different companies and firms and the efforts of hundreds of people, but a few select firms have been responsible for more of the design and engineering achievements than any other.

Continue reading to see the 18 design architects that have contributed multiple buildings to the top 100 list.

First Renderings Revealed of Revamped Plan for New York's Penn Station

10:05 - 28 September, 2016
First Renderings Revealed of Revamped Plan for New York's Penn Station , © Empire State Development. Image courtesy SOM | Volley
© Empire State Development. Image courtesy SOM | Volley

Update: We've added a gallery of renderings to the post!

Penn Station is finally getting its much-needed makeover. The transportation hub, the busiest train station in the country, has been the target of much ire and disdain ever since its Beaux-Arts predecessor, designed by McKim, Mead & White, was demolished in 1963, forcing the station to retreat into the dark, cramped passageways below Madison Square Garden. The ordeal lead critic and Yale University Professor Vincent Scully to memorably quip: “One entered the city like a god. One scuttles in now like a rat.”

But today, after years of scrapped schemes, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a fast-track plan that will give New York’s scuttling visitors and commuters some breathing room as early as 2020. Led by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the design calls for a new 255,000 square foot train hall and retail space in the James A. Farley Building, also known as the General Post Office, across 8th Avenue from Madison Square Garden and the current Penn Station entrance.

© Empire State Development. Image courtesy SOM | Volley © Empire State Development. Image courtesy SOM | Volley © Empire State Development. Image courtesy SOM | Volley © Empire State Development. Image courtesy SOM | Volley +15

SOM Breaks Ground on One of the Largest Redevelopments in Tokyo’s History

14:30 - 21 September, 2016
SOM Breaks Ground on One of the Largest Redevelopments in Tokyo’s History, © Methanoia
© Methanoia

Construction is now underway on Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s (SOM) OH-1 redevelopment project in the Ohtemachi District of Tokyo, Japan. Covering a 20,000 square meter (215,000 square foot) site, the project constitutes one of the largest revitalization projects in Tokyo’s history. The complex includes two high-rise, mixed-use buildings containing a luxury hotel, commercial office space, retail and cultural facilities, and is centered around a park and public area that will visually connect the development to the adjacent Imperial Palace East Gardens.

These Are the Best-Designed, Most Useful Architecture Firm Websites

07:00 - 12 September, 2016
These Are the Best-Designed, Most Useful Architecture Firm Websites

Our editors look at hundreds of websites per week. What do they admire and appreciate the most? Organization and simplicity. Sites that are not only clean, but fast. We actively search for projects to include on our platform, so it’s crucial that when we visit a website we not only know where to look, but how to access information. Filters and facets are our best friends. Typological differentiation is important, but perhaps not as important as distinguishing between built and un-built projects (“Is that a render?” is a question that comes up at least once a day).