Classics modeled with ArchiCAD15

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Last week we told you about ArchiCAD 15, Graphisoft’s latest version of its premium design software for architects. Although you can see many videos showing the new features of the software, it’s great to see some projects modeled with ArchiCAD 15. Specially if we can see some of the projects we have featured in our AD Classics section, like SOM’s USAFA Cadet Chapel or William Van Alen’s Chrysler Building. Check the other two videos after the break.

SOM Wins 2011 AIA Institute Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design

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The Beijing Central Business District (CBD) plan by SOM can now add 2011 AIA Institute Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design to its list.  The ongoing 4,200,000 sqm project is the winning design from the international design competition expanding the Beijing CBD

The plan calls for the establishment of three new districts anchored by signature parks and green boulevards. New modes of public transportation are proposed, including express commuter rail service between the Beijing Capital International Airport, the CBD, and high speed rail service at Beijing South Station. A new streetcar system is proposed to conveniently link all areas of the CBD, and every street would be bicycle friendly. To establish a pedestrian-friendly scale for development, the plan calls for a network of small, walkable blocks.

AD Classics: Chase Manhattan Plaza / SOM

SOM | Erich Locker

Known for their innovation and economy in design, SOMs Chase Plaza in the Financial District of Lower displays SOMs architectural language on efficiency and its relationship with the public realm.  Completed in 1961, the 60 story skyscraper by of SOM is a coming of age story for Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill presence as an [inter]national leader of corporate architectural design that evokes efficiency and functionality.

More on the Chase Manhattan Plaza after the break.

AD Classics: Great Lakes Naval Training Center, Hostess House / SOM

SOM, © Hedrich Blessing

As the first military project of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, the Great Lakes Naval Training Center takes the form of a rectangle and stretches along a long narrow site. The diverse program includes a reading and writing room, reception room, lounge, terrace and offices.  is the only surviving World War II-era building designed by Gordon Bunshaft.

More on the Hostess House, or Great Lakes Naval Training Center after the break.

AD Classics: Miami University Art Museum / SOM

| © Abby Sadin

Known for their academic and institutional works that begin to integrate the academia with the outside world, SOM designed the Miami University Art Museum in Oxford, Ohio as an academic facility, as well as an art venue for the public to experience.  Situated on Miami University’s campus, the art museum enhances the universities cultural influence on the surrounding area by making Miami University the artistic and cultural center of Oxford.

Completed in 1979, Walter Netsch and his team at SOM designed the museum as a responsive sculpture that appears to emerge from the elevated terrain and the surrounding wooded landscape.

More on the Miami University Art Museum after the break.

New Landmark for Manufacturers Trust Company Building

Landmarks Preservation Commission

Last week, as the NY Times reported, the interior of 510 Fifth Avenue received landmark protection by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The building, designed by of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill back in the 1950s, served as a branch of the former Manufacturers Trust Bank (later the Chase Bank Building) and is situated on a dense Manhattan block near the Public Library, Cook+Fox’s recent One Bryant Park, and the park itself.

More about the landmarked interior after the break.

SOM Awarded Commission for Green Tech City in Vietnam

Courtesy of SOM

The commission for a Green Tech City in Hanoi, was recently awarded to Skidmore Owings & Merrill.  SOM’s preliminary master plan focuses on reducing demand for non-renewable resources while integrating local traditions and utilizing the existing green urban character of Hanoi.  At the heart of this new green district is a riverfront park.  A series of landscaped green spaces, formed from existing agricultural water channels, would connect into this linear riverfront park creating a well connected network of public parks.

More information on this news after the break.

Architecture City Guide: Chicago

We are headed to the windy city of for this weeks Architecture City Guide series.  Jam packed with architecture from Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe, here are our 12 recommendations if you are visiting .  Head to the comment section and share your recommendations for additional buildings to include on our list!

The Architecture City Guide: Chicago list and corresponding map after the break!

Atlantic Health Jets Training Facility / Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

© Florian Holzherr

SOM’s principal design objectives were to create a focused learning and working environment that would give the New York Jets a competitive edge by constantly reminding the players and business staff that football is their business, and creating a campus that would prioritize work, education and health.

More photographs of the Atlantic Health Jets Training Facility and drawings following the break.

Architects: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP/ New York
Location: Florham Park, ,
Design Partner in Charge: Roger Duffy
Project Manager: Christopher McCready
Project Architect: Darrell Puffer
Project Area: 133,275 sqf Campus Building 84,286 sqf Field House
Project Year: 2008
Photographs: Florian Holzherr

Architecture City Guide: Washington D.C.

© flickr: joshbousel

Welcome to the Architecture City Guide series.  Here at ArchDaily we thought this series could especially be put to use during the upcoming holiday season.  Many will be traveling to see family, having family visit, or taking a New Year’s vacation to a new city.  Here is a small City Guide list, starting with

We want to hear from you, share with us your City Guide list for buildings in Washington D.C.  More cities to come, so be sure to check back.

Follow the break for our Washington D.C. list and a corresponding map!

AD Interviews: Philip Enquist, SOM

When I visited Chicago, I had to visit one of the key actors on shaping a city that breaths architecture, from big part of the skyline to the Millenium Park: SOM.

I have visited before, to interview Craig Hartman at the San Francisco office, but Chicago was were it all started back in 1936 with Louis Skidmore and Nathaniel Owings, and John O. Merrill who joined in 1939.

This time I interviewed Philip Enquist (FAIA), the partner in charge of urban design and planning. Philip has been involved in development and redevelopment initiatives for college campuses, existing city neighborhoods, new cities, rural districts, downtown commercial centers, port areas and even in a master-plan for the entire nation of Bahrain.

It was amazing to hear from him on different processes that have been shaping the most important cities in the world, such as Beijing’s Central Business District or the master plan for the Millenium Park. But I was also surprised about a project we presented to you earlier, the vision for the Great Lakes area, a project that shows a lot of responsibility  as an architect and an example that we still have a very important role in our society.

After the break, the usual questions a bonus with what’s a good city, and some photos of the office.

Vision for the Great Lakes at TEDxTalks by Philip Enquist of SOM

This past July Philip Enquist of SOM spoke to the city of Minneapolis, as a part of TEDxTalks Mill City series.  His focus was to raise awareness and also challenge the Great Lake and St. Lawrence watershed residents to “imagine there are no borders”.  This video hits close to home, as I grew up in the Great Lakes watershed region.  His lecture is informative and revealing of the responsibility there is to utilize and protect this great resource of the United States.

At the end of the video you find yourself wondering why haven’t we already created a plan for the Great Lakes region.  Possibly the size of this region or the international boarder running through it has failed to put it on many people’s radar screens.  Either way Enquist lays out an achievable ten point plan (overview after the break) to focus on where this 100 year vision could be a global example of human balance with nature, beyond two nations.

Courtesy of

Following Enquist’s lecture the mayors of the Great Lake and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative voted to approve a regional sustainability program.

AD Classics: John Hancock Center / SOM

SOM - Ezra Stoller © Esto

Once the tallest building in the world outside of when it was completed in 1970, the John Hancock Center stands along with the Willis (Sears) Tower and Mies’ 860-880 Lake Shore Drive residences as another glimmering landmark of the skyline. The 100-story skyscraper was designed by architect Bruce Graham and structural engineer Fazlur Khan of Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill and soars 1, 127-feet into the sky. It was the world’s first mixed-use high-rise, containing offices, restaurants, and the third highest residence in the world with approximately 700 condominiums.

More on the John Hancock Center after the break.

AD Classics: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library / Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill

© - Ezra Stoller of Esto Photographics

Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library is the largest building in the world dedicated to the containment and preservation of rare books, manuscripts, and documents. It was designed by of Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill and is located in New Haven, Connecticut. Prior to the completion of this project, Yale University placed its rare books on special shelving in Dwight Hall, which was the Old Library in the late 19th century. In 1930 these special books were relocated to Rare Book Room collection in the Sterling Memorial Library. The Beinecke library was a gift from the Beinecke family, and since 1963 has accomodated six major collections in its rare and marvelous structure that coincides with the literary gems it stores, including those from the Rare Book Room. The major collections are the General Collection, which are divided into the General Collection of Early Books and Manuscripts and the General Collection of Modern Books and Manuscripts, the Collection of American Literature, the Collection of German Literature, the Collection of Western Americana, and the Osborn Collection of British Literary and Historical Manuscripts.

More information and images of the library after the break.

One World Trade Center gets to 260 feet

Photo courtesy of the Port Authority of New York and

One World Trade Center has reached a construction milestone by rising 260 ft above street level. Upon its completion in 2013, it will become the tallest office building in the United States reaching 104 stories.

Currently standing at the 26th floor level, the 1,776-ft-tall office building is being designed by David Childs of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (NY office) and developed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and is scheduled to reach a height of 50 stories by the end of 2010. To date, more than 67,000 cubic yards of concrete have been poured for the tower, both above and below ground exceeding the amount of concrete used to build the entire Empire State Building.

One World Trade Center will incorporate design elements based on LEED Gold criteria with energy efficiency running 20% higher than city codes presently require. Seen at GreenSource.

Architecture weekend fun: LEGO Sears Tower

Over the weekend I took some time to assemble my LEGO Sears Tower, the legendary skyscraper located in Chicago designed by SOM.

This set was designed by Adam Reed Tucker, who has also put out more complex sets such as the Guggenheim Museum and the Fallingwater House.

This one looks great on my desk, and will shortly join the

Empire State Building, the John Hancock Center, and not much of a fan, but just to complete the series, the Seattle Space Needle.

More photos after the break:

Inland Steel Building / SOM

JONATHAN MICHAEL JOHNSON/PLANCK STUDIOS

SOM is in the process of retrofitting their 1958 Inland Building to meet modern sustainability and landmark restoration goals.  The idea for the upgrade, although headed by SOM, was actually conceived in 2007 when, non other than Frank Gehry and New York real estate player Richard Cohen purchased the 19-story, 232,450-square-foot property for approximately $57 million, and set out to transform the aging structure into Class A space.

More after the upgrade after the break.

AD Classics: USAFA Cadet Chapel / Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

© SOM-William Lukes AIA

In 1954 Skidmore, Owings & Merrill were commissioned to design the Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel. Located in El Paso Country, , just outside of Springs, the chapel is of the training center for officers of the United States Air Force which is a large self-contained community. At an elevation of 6500 feet on the East of the Rocky Mountains, the 3,000 acre Academy also contains housing for 8,000 people, a supply center, a hospital, an airfield, and an academic complex rising up the slope of the site. This program is split on three levels due to the slope, with the Administration Building, the Social Center, and the Cadet Chapel on the uppermost level. These spaces are used by both cadets and visitors, which with the beautiful peaks of of the Chapel rising towards the sky, attracts more than a million a year.

More on SOM’s USAFA Cadet Chapel after the break.