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SOM Scale + Form at the 2018 Venice Biennale

10:45 - 26 May, 2018
SOM Scale + Form at the 2018 Venice Biennale, © Tom Harris
© Tom Harris

Today, a new exhibition opened in Venice featuring the work of the global architecture and engineering practice Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM). Presented at the European Cultural Centre, "Time Space Existence" is a collateral exhibition of the 2018 Venice Biennale of Architecture. The show includes work from leading architects, photographers, sculptors, and universities from around the world.

First Images Released of SOM's Proposed Skyscrapers on Former Chicago Spire Site

12:10 - 16 May, 2018
First Images Released of SOM's Proposed Skyscrapers on Former Chicago Spire Site, © Noe & Associates/Boundary courtesy of Related Midwest
© Noe & Associates/Boundary courtesy of Related Midwest

The Chicago Tribune has released images of an SOM-designed skyscraper scheme for the former Chicago Spire site. The two towers, measuring 1,000 and 850 feet tall (305 and 259 meters), are expected to contain 1.3 million square feet of floor space, including 850 residential units. 

The proposal signals a new lease of life for 400 N Lake Shore Drive, where a 75-foot-deep, much-ridiculed foundation hole serves as the only reminder of the once-planned Chicago Spire, a 2000-foot-tall Santiago Calatrava-designed skyscraper.

© Noe & Associates/Boundary courtesy of Related Midwest © Noe & Associates/Boundary courtesy of Related Midwest © Noe & Associates/Boundary courtesy of Related Midwest © Noe & Associates/Boundary courtesy of Related Midwest + 7

SOM to Design 2 Skyscrapers on Former Chicago Spire Site

15:05 - 15 May, 2018
SOM to Design 2 Skyscrapers on Former Chicago Spire Site, The site at 400 N Lake Shore Drive with the hole for the foundations of the Chicago Spire proposal. Image© <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/orijinal/8329344372'>Flickre user orijinal</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>
The site at 400 N Lake Shore Drive with the hole for the foundations of the Chicago Spire proposal. Image© Flickre user orijinal licensed under CC BY 2.0

Since construction was halted on the Chicago Spire, the Santiago Calatrava-designed skyscraper at 400 N Lake Shore Drive, the hole which was to become the tower's foundation has become something of a local punchline, variously being caricatured as the site of semi-ironic proposals for inner-city adventure playgrounds or the pit into which the city's other failed ventures can be metaphorically dumped. But according to a report by the Chicago Tribune, that narrative might be about to change, as their sources within the city government have confirmed that a proposal is in the works to bring two skyscrapers to the site, designed by David Childs of SOM, the lead architect behind 1 World Trade Center.

Spotlight: Gordon Bunshaft

10:30 - 9 May, 2018
Spotlight: Gordon Bunshaft, AD Classics: Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Image © <a href='https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beinecke_Rare_Book_%26_Manuscript_Library#/media/File:Beinecke-Rare-Book-Manuscript-Library-Yale-University-Hewitt-Quadrangle-New-Haven-Connecticut-Apr-2014-a.jpg'>Wikimedia Commons user Gunnar Klack</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/'>CC BY-SA 4.0</a>
AD Classics: Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Image © Wikimedia Commons user Gunnar Klack licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

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

When it Comes to Building a Better Airport, "It Never Pays to Use Cheap Materials"

09:30 - 11 April, 2018
When it Comes to Building a Better Airport, "It Never Pays to Use Cheap Materials", Washington Dulles Internation Airport - Main Terminal Expansion. Image © Rick Latoff
Washington Dulles Internation Airport - Main Terminal Expansion. Image © Rick Latoff

Airport design is both an art and a science: the best terminals are not only functional, but also beautiful and awe-inspiring spaces. Millions of people pass through these terminals every day, yet few understand their inner workings as well as Roger Duffy and Derek A.R. Moore—design leaders at SOM who have conceptualized some of the most ambitious aviation projects around the world, including Terminal 2 at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai. In this interview, Moore, a Director, and Duffy, a Design Partner, reflect on the complicated challenges of airport design, and how these constraints can fuel creative solutions.

Changi International Airport - Terminal 3. Image © Tim Griffith Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport – Terminal 2. Image Courtesy of SOM / Robert Polidori © Mumbai International Airport Pvt. Ltd. Toronto Pearson International Airport Terminal 1. Image © Timothy Hursley Washington Dulles Internation Airport - Automated People Mover Station. Image Courtesy of SOM / © Jeff Goldberg | Esto + 15

SOM Unveils Images of Striking Mixed-Use Tower in Hangzhou, China

12:00 - 9 April, 2018
Courtesy of SOM / Brick Visual
Courtesy of SOM / Brick Visual

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) has unveiled images of its proposed 54-story mixed-use tower in Hangzhou, China. Standing at a height of 945 feet (288 meters), the "Hangzhou Wangchao Center" seeks to act as a gateway to the eastern Chinese city’s newly-planned Qianjang Century Town district. With 1.3 million square feet (125,000 square meters) of office, hotel, and retail space, the scheme represents the ambitions of Hangzhou to become a global destination, spurred by its hosting of the Asian Games in 2022.

Courtesy of SOM / ATCHAIN Courtesy of SOM / Brick Visual Courtesy of SOM Courtesy of SOM + 12

SOM Unveils Images of Chicago Office Tower With Five-Story Open-Air Deck

14:05 - 23 March, 2018
Courtesy of SOM
Courtesy of SOM

Chicago-based Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill (SOM) have unveiled new images of their proposed 18-story office tower in the trendy Fulton Market area of Chicago. “The Porch,” situated on 330 North Green, will feature a five-story open-air deck, and series of luxury amenities to support the new office environment.

Courtesy of SOM Courtesy of SOM Courtesy of SOM Courtesy of SOM + 11

Zaha Hadid Architects to Design Navi Mumbai International Airport

12:10 - 14 March, 2018
Zaha Hadid Architects to Design Navi Mumbai International Airport, Previous airport works by Zaha Hadid Architects include the Beijing Daxing International Airport, slated as the world's largest airport terminal. Image Image by Methanoia © Zaha Hadid Architects
Previous airport works by Zaha Hadid Architects include the Beijing Daxing International Airport, slated as the world's largest airport terminal. Image Image by Methanoia © Zaha Hadid Architects

Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has won an international competition for the design of the Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA). A long-awaited infrastructural project for India’s largest city, the scheme addresses capacity issues for the existing Chhatrapati Shivaji International (CSI) Airport, which features a terminal designed by SOM.

ZHA’s brief will encompass the design and execution of new NMIA terminal building, an Air Traffic Control Tower, and associated access. The airport will be situated across Mumbai Harbor, connected to the city by a planned rail link, and access to national rail networks. ZHA's previous work in the airport sector includes the Beijing Daxing International Airport (pictured), which is slated to be the world's largest airport terminal.

SOM Selected to Design Green Masterplan for Eastern Paris

16:42 - 13 March, 2018
SOM Selected to Design Green Masterplan for Eastern Paris, Courtesy of SOM
Courtesy of SOM

Chicago-based Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) have won an international competition for the design of an enhanced urban district in Charenton-Bercy, on the eastern edge of Paris. Working with a team of urbanists, landscape designers and community think tanks, SOM have proposed a highly connected urban landscape incorporating a 180-meter energy efficient tower, and contemporary rotunda serving as a virtual reality hub. 

Docomomo Pens Letter In Response to the Planned Demolition of New York's Union Carbide Building

12:20 - 28 February, 2018
Docomomo Pens Letter In Response to the Planned Demolition of New York's Union Carbide Building, The original lobby of the Union Carbide Building. Image © Ezra Stoller | Esto. Courtesy Docomomo
The original lobby of the Union Carbide Building. Image © Ezra Stoller | Esto. Courtesy Docomomo

Following last week’s announcement of JPMorgan Chase’s plans to demolition the historically significant modernist masterwork 270 Park (formerly known as the Union Carbide Building), the US chapter of international non-profit Modernist architecture advocate Docomomo has penned a letter to New York City Landmarks Preservation Committee chair Meenakshi Srinivasan arguing for the structure’s preservation.

In the letter, Docomomo US President Theodore H.M. Prudon and Docomomo US NY/Tri-State President John Arbuckle highlight the structure’s critical acclaim and essential place within Modernist architectural history, urging the Commission to calendar the building for designation as quickly as possible.

Find the letter reprinted in full, below.

SOM's Iconic 270 Park Avenue At Risk of Becoming the Tallest Building Ever to Be Demolished

12:30 - 22 February, 2018
© Flickr <a href='http://https://www.flickr.com/photos/16801915@N06/8191438808/'>user Reading Tom</a>. Licensed under CC BY 2.0t
© Flickr user Reading Tom. Licensed under CC BY 2.0t

Just months after plans were announced for a major transformation of Philip Johnson’s AT&T Building at 550 Madison, another iconic midtown Manhattan skyscraper is at risk – and this time, it would mean the demolition of the entire building.

Designed by Natalie de Blois and Gordon Bunshaft of SOM and completed in 1961, 270 Park Avenue (formerly known as the Union Carbide Building) is considered a key example of the International Style in New York City that extended and even improved upon the precedent set by Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram Building.

But after new zoning legislation for the neighborhood was passed last year, the building’s current owner, JPMorgan Chase, has announced plans to raze the 707-foot-tall building in favor of a new, hi-tech supertall replacement. If plans go through, it would be the world’s largest and tallest building ever to be intentionally demolished.

Architect Magazine Selects the Top 50 Architecture Firms in the US for 2017

14:00 - 21 November, 2017
Architect Magazine Selects the Top 50 Architecture Firms in the US for 2017

Architect Magazine has unveiled the 2017 edition of the “Architect 50,” their list of the 50 best architecture firms in the United States. The 2017 rankings are based on scores from three categories: business, design and sustainability. This year saw more entrants than ever before, with several first-time entrants making notable impressions, including the number 1 ranked design firm, WORKac. Topping the overall list was Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), who also ranked in the top 10 in both design and sustainability.

See the top 10 from each category after the break.

AIA LA Showcases Award Winners After Surge of Submissions

06:00 - 10 November, 2017
AIA LA Showcases Award Winners After Surge of Submissions, Next LA - Honor: West Hollywood Belltower / Tom Wiscombe Architecture, Inc. courtesy of AIA LA
Next LA - Honor: West Hollywood Belltower / Tom Wiscombe Architecture, Inc. courtesy of AIA LA

The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles (AIA|LA) just announced the winners of their 2017 Design Awards honoring Los Angeles based architects and architecture. The ceremony took place Monday, October 30th, at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, recognizing each of the winners.

Design - Citation: Saddle Peak Residence / Sant Architects © Joe Fletcher Design - Merit: Road to Awe (RtA) / Dan Brunn Architecture © Brandon Shigeta Next LA - Citation: Twin Villa / Patrick TIGHE Architecture & John V Mutlow Architects © Patrick Tighe Architecture Design - Citation: Desert Palisades Guardhouse / Studio AR&D Architects © Lance Gerber + 36

10 Projects Chosen as Winners of 2017 AIA International Region Design Awards

16:30 - 6 November, 2017
10 Projects Chosen as Winners of 2017 AIA International Region Design Awards, Courtesy of American Institute of Architects
Courtesy of American Institute of Architects

Ten projects have been selected as winners of 2017 AIA International Region Design Awards, honoring exemplary projects undertaken by architect members of the American Institute of Architects’ International Region, encompassing six of the seven chapters located outside of the United States: AIA United Kingdom, AIA Continental Europe, AIA Hong Kong, AIA Japan, AIA Middle East, and AIA Shanghai (not including the recently formed AIA Canada).

Projects were selected by an international jury led by Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA, AIA Past President 2014, AIA IR Zone 1 (USA) and were presented AIA International Region Conference in Prague on October 7th.

Winners were chosen in five categories:

Burj Khalifa / SOM

03:00 - 23 October, 2017
Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP + 48

  • Architects

    SOM
  • Location

    1 Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd - Dubai - United Arab Emirates
  • Area

    454249.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2010

"Strong Relationships Between Engineers and Architects": SOM at the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial

13:30 - 21 September, 2017

An engineer should design a structure that an architect would be ashamed to cover up.

In this video produced by PLANE—SITE and Spirit of Space for ArchDaily, two of SOM’s great minds take us through the firm’s most recent exhibition, "SOM: Engineering x [Art + Architecture]," currently on display in conjunction with the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial. Focusing on the intersection between engineering and architecture, the exhibition reveals the design process behind some of the firm’s greatest achievements through a range of sketches, models, sculptures and visuals.

SOM Exhibits 30 Structural Skeleton Models Showing Evolution of Tall Building Design

14:00 - 17 September, 2017
SOM Exhibits 30 Structural Skeleton Models Showing Evolution of Tall Building Design, © Laurian Ghinitoiu
© Laurian Ghinitoiu

When it comes to tall building design, it’s often the structural system where the most groundbreaking innovations are made. Premiering this week in partnership with the Chicago Architecture Biennial is a new exhibition highlighting the innovative structural systems of an architecture firm that has completed their fair share of tall buildings: SOM.

Titled SOM: Engineering x [Art + Architecture], the exhibition uncovers the concepts and forms of the firm’s greatest achievements, including revolutionary tall buildings such as the John Hancock Building, the Willis Tower and the current world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. The exhibition reveals the research and thought processes through a range of media: hand-drawn sketches, interactive sculpture, immersive video, and most notably, a lineup of models at 1:500 showing the structural skeletons of 30 significant projects.

© Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu + 25

Poly International Plaza / SOM

00:00 - 23 August, 2017
Poly International Plaza / SOM, © Bruce Damonte
© Bruce Damonte

© Bruce Damonte © Bruce Damonte © Bruce Damonte © Bruce Damonte + 25

  • Architects

  • Location

    Bao Li Guo Ji Guang Chang (Hong Tai Dong Jie), WangJing, Chaoyang Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100096
  • Design Partner

    Leo Chow, AIA
  • Consulting Partner

    Gene Schnair, FAIA
  • Technical Partner

    Keith Boswell, FAIA
  • Project Managing Director

    Larry Chien, AIA
  • Area

    116000.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2016
  • Photographs