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SOM wins 2010 "Good Design is Good Business" China Award

12:30 - 10 March, 2010

The San Francisco office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) has received a 2010 “Good Design is Good Business” China Award for the new U.S. Embassy Complex in Beijing, China. 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

08:21 - 5 January, 2010

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

Digital Media City / SOM

13:00 - 14 December, 2009
© Giroud Pichot
© Giroud Pichot

SOM recently unveiled the design for the Digital Media City Landmark Tower in Seoul, Korea. The 2,100 foot (640m) tall tower will be the tallest tower in East Asia when completed in 2014.

The iconic building is located in the north of the Han River, which crosses the city, and will dominate the skyline becoming a important icon for Seoul… which is what you will expect if you commission a tower this tall.

In Progress: John Jay College / SOM

13:00 - 27 October, 2009
Image by Christopher Hoxie & Brandon Hicks
Image by Christopher Hoxie & Brandon Hicks

John Jay College of Criminal Justice, an active college in the City University of New York, currently occupies a former Public School building, Haaren Hall, on 10th Avenue between 58th and 59th Streets. With ownership of the entire Manhattan block, the college has ambitions to grow over two phases into the full Zoning capacity of the block. The charge of this project is to occupy the entire site with an integrated campus while providing a base for future growth.

Beijing Central Business District / Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

21:19 - 26 October, 2009
© SOM
© SOM

The Chicago and Shanghai offices of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) won the international design competition to expand the Beijing Central Business District (CBD). This project was also awarded an AIA Honor Award.

Basically, their plan proposes the creation of 3 new districts anchored by parks and green boulevards as you can see on the renderings. But the an important aspects of this project is on the small scale, a network of walkable blocks to offer pedestrian (and bike) friendly scale for development. Because sustainable doesn´t have to mean just “green”, but also to offer an environment on which people can actually establish social relations on a neighborhood scale.

The plan also proposes an 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.

Sometimes, a good transportation system and focusing on the pedestrian scale sound obvious, but they are the foundations to establish neighborhoods that can bring life to parts of the city 24/7, instead of business districts that die at night with dormitory cities with a lack of services.

More images after the break.

Mark Magazine #15

16:00 - 25 September, 2008

Mark Magazine is by far one of my favourite architecture magazines. Their motto “Another architecture” tells us what we´ll find inside: fresh architecture – the main reason we love this magazine so much.

This bimonthly magazine is structured in 5 sections: Noticeboard (a collage of new projects), Cross Section (short articles on new buildings and architectural subjects), Viewpoint (interviews with architects on the rise), Long Section (in depth articles on buildings) and Service Area (new building materials).

On the August/September issue (October one on the mail, more about that soon) we find an amazing house by spanish studio Ensamble, shown on a collage with embossed textures, something that has become a signature on Mark Magazine covers.

Burj Dubai, tallest building in the world almost finished

21:41 - 19 August, 2008

Some love this building, and some hate it. I´m impressed.

The Burj Dubai (set to be the tallest tower in the world, while the tallest structure as of now), is almost finished. Located in Dubai, it´s the centerpise of a mixed-use development that will include 30,000 homes, 9 hotels, 3 ha of parks, 19 residential towers, a man and a 12ha artificial lake.

I decided to Google about the Burj Dubai a little, and i found an interesting interview at Wired with SOM´s structural engineer Bill Baker, telling the story behind the design, the structure and construction. The foundations were overengineered just in case the client wanted to rise the height of the building during construction… which he did!. Now the final height won´t be disclosed until the construction is finished.

For now, enjoy this pictures the air on an helicopter by David Hobcote, seen at Gizmodo: