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 .  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 Chicago for this weeks Architecture City Guide series.  Jam packed with architecture from Frank Lloyd Wright and , here are our 12 recommendations if you are visiting Chicago.  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 (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 , Minnesota 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 New York 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 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 and New Jersey

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 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 Steel Building to meet modern sustainability and landmark restoration goals.  The idea for the upgrade, although headed by , was actually conceived in 2007 when, non other than 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

© -William Lukes AIA

In 1954 Skidmore, Owings & Merrill were commissioned to design the United States Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel. Located in El Paso Country, Colorado, just outside of Colorado 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.

AD Classics: Willis Tower (Sears Tower) / Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill

© Flickr - User: skydeckchicago

Towering over the windy city of , the Willis Tower (formerly known as Sears Tower) was once the tallest building in the world upon its completion in 1973. Sears, Roebuck, & Company commissioned Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill  to design an office building that would house their headquarters and the many offices they had scattered around in one building. The design also had to incorporate extra office space for the anticipated future growth of the company.

More on the Willis Tower after the break.

AD Classics: Lever House / Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

© http://www.flickr.com/photos/72696783@N00/286614763/

The Lever House by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill was one of the first International style office buildings in the United States. Located in midtown Manhattan, it was originally the American corporate headquarters of the soap company Lever Brothers. Built between 1951-1952, the Lever House extends 24 stories in height right across from Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram Building, and stands as its own perfect glass box.

More on the Lever House after the break.

University Center / SOM

SOM

Located in Greenwich Village, The New School is an artistic academic institution where thousands of students continue their education in varying facets of design, whether it be music, drama, jazz, liberal arts etc. Within the past few days, the school has unveiled their newest proposal for a University Center designed by based SOM. Adding over 365,00 sqf for academic and public programs, a new library and a 600+ student dormitory, the project will create a major campus hub at 65th Fifth Avenue between 13th and 14th Streets when it opens for the Fall 2013 semester.

More about the addition after the break.

SOM wins 2010 “Good Design is Good Business” China Award

The San Francisco office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) has received a 2010 “Good Design is Good Business” Award for the new U.S. Embassy Complex in Beijing, . Architectural Record and McGraw-Hill Construction recognized 17 projects with their third bi-annual program. The awards celebrate projects that demonstrate the power of design in the advancement of business and civic objectives.

The U.S. Embassy in Beijing, which opened for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, received its award in the Best Public Project category. Working with the U.S. Department of State, SOM responded to the building’s diplomatic role by creating a space that is welcoming, secure, and respectful of local traditions. As a sovereign U.S. presence on Chinese soil, the Embassy reflects American cultural, social and political values while paying respect to the host country’s ancient and extraordinarily vibrant culture.

More images and information after the break.

Burj Khalifa (formerly Burj Dubai) opens: the tallest building in the world

© SOM

With its final height kept as a secret until the last minute, we witnessed the incredible opening of the tallest building in the world.

The Burj Dubai, an engineering masterpiece designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM), was finally renamed Burj Khalifa in honor to Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the ruling sheik of Abu Dhabi who helped Dubai during the financial crisis with over US $25 billion.

YouTube Preview Image

The 828m tall structure established quite a distance from the Taipei 101, which used to hold the title for the tallest building in the world with 509m, that’s almost an extra 320m… almost like putting another on top of the Taipei 101. This will secure its title for at least a few years.

For more on how the tallest building in the world is structured, you can read this interview with Bill Baker, engineer at SOM.

From the top of the Burj Dubai

An amazing view of from the top of the tallest building in the world, which opens this Monday.

Seen at Gizmodo.