Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), in collaboration with landscape architects Grant Associates, has been selected as the unanimous winner of the International Urban Design Ideas Competition for the Financial District and Marina District of the Port City Colombo, Sri Lanka. An extension of the existing Colombo Central Business District (CBD), the new Port City district will comprise a whopping 269 hectares of development, transforming the area into a hub for commerce, tourism, and culture.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.