Skidmore Owings and Merrill have unveiled their vision for the "Moon Village", the first permanent human settlement on the Lunar surface. Developed in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the multidisciplinary project will be masterplanned, designed, and engineered by SOM.
Skidmore Owings And Merrill: The Latest Architecture and News
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.
Emporis has announced the results of its annual Emporis Skyscraper Award, recognizing the best new supertall buildings completed in the previous year. This year, the top prize was given to the Lotte World Tower in Seoul, South Korea, designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates and Baum Architects. The tapered tower, South Korea’s tallest, also houses the world’s highest glass-bottomed observation deck, for architects who can handle the 1820-foot (555-meter) drop.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Seventeen projects chosen by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) have been selected for this year’s Institute Honor Awards for Architecture, an award known to be the profession’s highest recognition of works in America that exemplify an excellence in architecture, interior architecture and urban design.
Out of 500 submissions, the 17 recipients will be honoured with the award at the AIA Conference on Architecture in New York City in June.
LocationBao Li Guo Ji Guang Chang (Hong Tai Dong Jie), WangJing, Chaoyang Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100096
Design PartnerLeo Chow, AIA
Consulting PartnerGene Schnair, FAIA
Technical PartnerKeith Boswell, FAIA
Project Managing DirectorLarry Chien, AIA
Cloistered by a protective shell of stone, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library is one of the world’s foremost collections of rare manuscripts. Opened in 1963, the library is renowned for its translucent marble façade and the world-renowned glass book tower sheltered within – a dramatic arrangement resulting from the particular requirements of a repository for literary artifacts. This unique design, very much in the Modernist lineage but in contrast to the revivalist styles of the rest of Yale’s campus, has only become appreciated thanks to the passage of time; the same bold choices which are now celebrated were once seen as a cause for contempt and outrage.
Serving as a new academic hub at the heart of the Morningside Heights campus, the 128,000-square-foot building will house a “new kind of library that incorporates technologies and learning spaces in an interactive setting and creates an inviting environment that benefits from green spaces.”
Portland’s Veterans Memorial Coliseum Named National Treasure by National Trust for Historic Preservation
Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill's Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Oregon has been on the chopping block for some time now: since the city’s NBA team moved to the Moda Center (known also as the Rose Garden) next door in 1995, the building has struggled to find the funding necessary for maintenance, and since 2009 calls have been made for the demolition of the iconic modernist structure. The threat reached peak levels last October, when the Portland City Council nearly voted to approve a proposal for demolition before ultimately denying it by a narrow 3-2 margin.
Now, preservationists have a new designation to use in their defense. Today, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named the Veterans Memorial Coliseum its newest National Treasure, joining 60 other threatened sites including the Houston Astrodome and Philip Johnson’s New York State Pavilion for the 1964-65 World’s Fair.
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), in collaboration with Entasis Arkitekter, has released new images of Karlatornet, a 230-meter tower project in Gothenburg, Sweden. Selected by jury in 2014, the tower is scheduled for completion in 2019, and will be Sweden’s tallest building. The project is part of Lindholmen, a new district being built adjacent to the city’s harbor. The full plan – ten blocks of office, retail, and residential space – is slated for completion in 2021, to coincide with Gothenburg’s 400th anniversary.
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) has released the plans for Manhattan West, a new office and residential development spanning five million square feet over the 2.6-acre platform that covers the active rail tracks connecting Penn Station to New Jersey and Upstate New York.
Until recently, the only options for providing clients and the public with visualizations of what a prospective building would look like were almost exclusively hand drawn renderings, or scale models built by hand. Both of these practices are still in use today, but now there is a much wider range of options with 3D modeling software providing the bulk of renderings, the growing presence of 3D printing, and even video fly-throughs with special effects that rival the latest Hollywood action movie. This 16mm film created by architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) in 1984, and digitized by illustrator Peter Little, reminded us of what the early days of digital 3D modeling looked like.
Postmodern architecture has largely been overlooked in recent years, left behind by current fashion, but not quite old enough to gain the attention of preservationists. Even in the architectural hot spot of Chicago, postmodern buildings tend to go unnoticed in favor of the Miesian towers and Prairie Style houses. ArchDaily’s own feature of notable Chicago buildings was noticeably lacking a postmodern example. To correct this oversight Metropolis Magazine has compiled a collection of Chicago’s most noteworthy examples of Postmodernism.
Update: The Chicago Tribune's architecture critic Blair Kamin has now reported that 140 architects from 60 cities have expressed their interest in designing the Barack Obama Presidential Center in Chicago by submitting qualifications. Of these, 99 are based in the United States, although names have not been released. The below article, originally published on September 1st, lists 11 architects that Kamin was able to confirm had been invited to submit qualifications by the Barack Obama Foundation.
Last week, it was reported that the Barack Obama Foundation was searching globally for an architect to design Obama's Presidential Library and Museum (officially known as the Barack Obama Presidential Center). With the list of invited candidates for Obama's Presidential Center still a closely-guarded secret, though, the Chicago Tribune's architecture critic Blair Kamin has turned investigator, uncovering a list of 11 firms among the "fifty or more" which are believed to have been invited. Kamin states that the 11 firms he has confirmed to be in the running are "A) Of high caliber; B) Represent a broad geographic and aesthetic spectrum; and C) Include the established firms one would expect to be invited."
Architect Magazine has unveiled its list of the 50 best architecture firms in the US, with Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Gensler taking the top three slots in the overall ranking, respectively. The rankings are based on scores from three categories: business, sustainability and design. This year the methodology was updated to include three new factors: percentage of women and minority designers; range and value of employee benefits and the rate of employee turnover. Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture also ranked first in the business category, followed by Kirksey Architecture and EYP Architecture & Engineering. EYP also headed the sustainability rankings, followed by Gensler and ZeroEnergy Design, while the design rankings were led by NADAAA, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Studio Gang Architects. Learn more about the methodology and view the full rankings here.