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.
The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has developed its own system for classifying tall buildings, stating that the Burj Khalifa (828 m.) is the world’s tallest building right now. These are the tallest buildings in the world [Latest Update: August 2020]
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) has signed a Memorandum of Collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) in order to further develop their existing research for Moon Village. Signed in Paris, by Colin Koop, Design Partner at SOM, and Johann-Dietrich Wörner, Director General of ESA, the announcement was made earlier this month.
4 Hudson Square is Walt Disney’s new headquarters in the Big Apple, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM). Located in the Lower Manhattan district, in the neighborhood of Hudson Square, the project will create a space for the company’s New York operations.
Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) with local architecture partner May Architecture, the new Winship at Midtown facility for cancer care is an addition to the Emory University Hospital Midtown (EUHM) campus and the existing Winship Cancer Institute.
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s first venture in Milan is an adaptive reuse of an early 60’s building, originally designed by architects Gio Ponti, Piero Portaluppi and Antonio Fornaroli. The firm imagined a scheme that renovates the former Allianz Milanese headquarters while transforming the Corso Italia Complex into a modern office space.
On August 12, 1833, the Town of Chicago had roughly 200 inhabitants. Four years later, in 1837, it was upgraded to The City of Chicago – an interesting fact given that there are still 19 incorporated towns in Illinois. The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 killed 300 people, destroyed about 3.3 square miles (9 km2), and left more than 100,000 residents homeless. However, by that time Chicago had become the world’s fastest-growing city and its population had risen over 300,000 inhabitants. The fire meant these ambitious citizens had to start again.
With admirable strength, the city was reborn from the ashes and some of Chicago’s best architecture was constructed immediately after. Structures like the Rookery Building (1888, Frank Lloyd Wright), the Auditorium Building (1889, Louis Sullivan) and the Monadnock Building (1893, Burnham & Root, Holabird & Roche) are a few examples of the high standards the city was aiming for.
Since then, Chicago has only continued adding value to its urban grid and new buildings have been progressively enhancing the city’s beautiful skyline. This year Chicago celebrates the 2019-2020 Biennial and the city has plenty to offer. But, where to start?
If you love architecture, here is a list of buildings – old and new – that will help you understand, internalize and love Chicago’s built environment.
Shall we begin?
Architecture practice Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) have designed a concrete pavilion for the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial. Today, the practice is unveiling the work of its interdisciplinary practice with Stereoform Slab, a to-scale prototype of a future building system made using advanced robotic fabrication techniques. The project is simultaneously an activation and an exhibition that illustrates a design method that reduces the carbon footprint of concrete construction.
Ste Murray has recently visited Chicago and photographed the famous John Hancock Center on its 50th Anniversary. Completed in 1969, and conceived by architect Bruce Graham and structural engineer Fazlur Khan of Skidmore Owings and Merrill, the building was once the tallest structure in the world outside of New York.
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM), Architectus, and Dexus Property Group have celebrated the completion and opening of 100 Mount Street, a 35-story mixed-use tower in North Sydney’s Central Business District. Inspired by the city’s rich architectural landscape, and shaped by SOM’s legacy of innovation in architecture and engineering, the scheme features a cross-braced exoskeleton structure surrounding a glass-enclosed interior.
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill have been selected along with Tom Leader Studio to design the urban core for the Xiong’an New Area, China’s model city of the future. The winning scheme was selected from 12 finalists representing 10 countries, resulting from an international competition of 200 entries. The SOM and TLS scheme ultimately prevailed for its “global vision, world-class standards, sensitivity to Chinese heritage and culture, and innovative approach to urban design.”
https://www.archdaily.com/919230/som-and-tls-design-chinas-model-city-of-the-futureNiall Patrick Walsh
Skidmore Owings and Merrill have unveiled their design for the Kempegowda International Airport Terminal 2 in Bengaluru, India. The new air travel hub for the region, the SOM terminal reimagines the airport as a landscaped, serene transportation experience, conceived by the airport commission as a “terminal within a garden.” The project’s first phase of construction is scheduled to be completed in March 2021, when it will serve 25 million annual passengers.
https://www.archdaily.com/914396/som-designs-garden-terminal-for-indias-kempegowda-international-airportNiall Patrick Walsh
Either as singular outcroppings or as part of a bustling center, skyscrapers are neck-craning icons across major city centers in the world. A modern trope of extreme success and wealth, the skyscraper has become an architectural symbol for vibrant urban hubs and commercial powerhouses dominating cities like New York, Dubai, and Singapore.
While skyscrapers are omnipresent, 2018 introduced new approaches, technologies, and locations to the high-rise typology. From variations in materiality to form, designs for towers have started to address aspects beyond simply efficiency and height, proposing new ways for the repetitive form to bring unique qualities to city skylines. Below, a few examples of proposals and trends from 2018 that showcase the innovative ideas at work: