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Som: The Latest Architecture and News

SOM Unveils Vision for First Human Settlement on the Moon

11:00 - 10 April, 2019
SOM Unveils Vision for First Human Settlement on the Moon, © SOM / Slashcube GmbH
© SOM / Slashcube GmbH

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.

Exhibition: Beyond the Structure

12:29 - 9 April, 2019
Exhibition: Beyond the Structure, SOM
SOM

The exhibition, presented by SOM and Fundación Arquitectura COAM spotlights SOM’s structural engineering practice and its integration with SOM’s architectural design.

Studio Gang to Lead Winning Chicago O’Hare Airport Expansion

11:00 - 28 March, 2019
Studio Gang to Lead Winning Chicago O’Hare Airport Expansion, O'Hare Global Terminal and Concourse. Image Courtesy of Studio ORD
O'Hare Global Terminal and Concourse. Image Courtesy of Studio ORD

Studio Gang has been selected to lead the $8.5 billon O'Hare 21 International Airport expansion in Chicago. Chosen from a list of firms including BIG, Calatrava and SOM, the Studio Gang team is part of the Studio ORD partnership. They won the project for the Global Terminal and Concourse with three volumes converging in a central hub. Designed to celebrate Chicago’s history as a city shaped by lines of movement, the project represents O’Hare’s first major overhaul in 25 years.

O'Hare Global Terminal and Concourse. Image Courtesy of Studio ORD O'Hare Global Terminal and Concourse. Image Courtesy of Studio ORD O'Hare Global Terminal and Concourse. Image Courtesy of Studio ORD O'Hare Global Terminal and Concourse. Image Courtesy of Studio ORD + 8

Critical Round-Up: Hudson Yards

13:00 - 18 March, 2019
Critical Round-Up: Hudson Yards, Hudson Yards. Image Courtesy of Related-Oxford
Hudson Yards. Image Courtesy of Related-Oxford

New York City’s Hudson Yards has opened its doors to the public, and the reviews are flooding in. Built on Midtown Manhattan’s West Side, the project is New York’s largest development to date and the largest private real estate venture in American history, covering almost 14 acres of land with residential towers, offices, plazas, shopping centers, and restaurants. A host of architecture firms have shaped the development, including BIG, SOM, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Rockwell Group, and many others.

Read on to find out how critics have responded to Hudson Yards so far.

Hudson Yards. Image Courtesy of Related-Oxford Hudson Yards. Image Courtesy of Related-Oxford Hudson Yards. Image Courtesy of Related-Oxford Hudson Yards. Image Courtesy of Related-Oxford + 15

SOM Reveals 35 Hudson Yards Tower for New York

05:30 - 11 March, 2019
SOM Reveals 35 Hudson Yards Tower for New York, 35 Hudson Yards. Image Courtesy of Related Oxford
35 Hudson Yards. Image Courtesy of Related Oxford

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill have revealed new images of their design for 35 Hudson Yards, a new tower that will be part of the largest private real estate development in the history of the United States. SOM provided architectural design and structural engineering services for the mixed-use tower in New York, which is set to become the tallest residential building in Hudson Yards. Standing 1,000 feet tall, the project will express transitions in program as a series of setbacks twisting around the tower.

35 Hudson Yards. Image Courtesy of Related Oxford 35 Hudson Yards. Image Courtesy of Related Oxford 35 Hudson Yards. Image Courtesy of Related Oxford 35 Hudson Yards. Image Courtesy of Related Oxford + 12

World’s First Floating Eco-Park Planned for Chicago River

13:00 - 20 February, 2019
World’s First Floating Eco-Park Planned for Chicago River, Wild Mile Chicago. Image Courtesy of SOM
Wild Mile Chicago. Image Courtesy of SOM

SOM has revealed their design for the world’s first floating eco-park along the Chicago River. Called Wild Mile Chicago, the project is sited between Chicago and North avenues along the east side of Goose Island. A group of ecologists and activists called Urban Rivers is working with the city to realize the plan. The mile-long project is being created with government officials and private developers to include new wildlife, recreational and educational additions to the river’s North Branch.

Wild Mile Chicago. Image Courtesy of SOM Wild Mile Chicago. Image Courtesy of SOM Wild Mile Chicago. Image Courtesy of SOM Wild Mile Chicago. Image Courtesy of SOM + 5

SOM Breaks Ground on Alárò City in Nigeria

10:00 - 10 February, 2019
SOM Breaks Ground on Alárò City in Nigeria, Alárò City. Image Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Alárò City. Image Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill have broken ground on Alárò City, a new masterplan development that will connect to Lagos in southwest Nigeria. The mixed-use model community will feature an international trade gateway with a new seaport and airport. Designed for the Lagos State Government and Africa’s largest urban developer Rendeavour, the project is made to boost foreign direct investment to create an economic and cultural hub for West Africa.

Alárò City. Image Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Alárò City. Image Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Alárò City. Image Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Alárò City. Image Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill + 8

These Are the World’s 25 Tallest Buildings

04:00 - 24 January, 2019
These Are the World’s 25 Tallest Buildings, © Marshall Gerometta/CTBUH; © zjaaosldk, bajo licencia CC0; © Carsten Schael; © K11 / New World Development; © © Ferox Seneca, bajo licencia CC BY 3.0; imagen cortesía de SOM
© Marshall Gerometta/CTBUH; © zjaaosldk, bajo licencia CC0; © Carsten Schael; © K11 / New World Development; © © Ferox Seneca, bajo licencia CC BY 3.0; imagen cortesía de SOM

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. 

But when it comes to defining which buildings are the tallest it can get complicated. Do antennas and other gadgets on top of the building count as extra meters? What happens if the last floor is uninhabitable? The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has developed their own system for classifying tall buildings, measuring from the “level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the architectural top of the building, including spires, but not including antennae, signage, flag poles or other functional-technical equipment.” Using this system more than 3,400 buildings have been categorized as over 150 meters tall.

Five Designs for Chicago’s O’Hare Global Terminal go to Public Vote

05:00 - 18 January, 2019
Five Designs for Chicago’s O’Hare Global Terminal go to Public Vote, O'Hare International Airport expansion. Image Courtesy of Foster Epstein Moreno
O'Hare International Airport expansion. Image Courtesy of Foster Epstein Moreno

Five design teams have been selected to present their ideas for the Chicago O'Hare Airport Global Terminal and Global Concourse expansion. The designs are on display at an exhibition opened by Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the Chicago Architecture Center. Teams include Fentress-EXP-Brook-Garza, Foster Epstein Moreno, Studio ORD, SOM and Santiago Calatrava. Known as O’Hare 21, the project represents O’Hare’s first major overhaul in 25 years.

O'Hare International Airport expansion. Image Courtesy of Studio ORD O'Hare International Airport expansion. Image Courtesy of Santiago Calatrava O'Hare International Airport expansion. Image Courtesy of SOM O'Hare International Airport expansion. Image Courtesy of Fentress-EXP-Brook-Garza + 6

SOM Designs Kinematic Sculpture for Chicago Design Week

04:00 - 24 October, 2018
SOM Designs Kinematic Sculpture for Chicago Design Week, Kinematic Sculpture. Image © Benny Chan
Kinematic Sculpture. Image © Benny Chan

Architecture firm SOM has designed Kinematic Sculpture, an origami-like pavilion installation for Chicago Design Week. Exploring kinematics as the science of motion, the sculpture was formed as one of the firm's ongoing interdisciplinary research projects. As a test in integrated design, the structure aims to establish ideas that foster new architectural and structural solutions for pressing challenges in the built environment.

Kinematic Sculpture. Image © SOM Kinematic Sculpture. Image © Benny Chan Kinematic Sculpture. Image © Benny Chan Kinematic Sculpture. Image © Benny Chan + 8

Studio Gang, BIG, Calatrava and SOM Among Teams Competing For Multi-Billion Chicago O’Hare Contract

16:05 - 24 September, 2018
Studio Gang, BIG, Calatrava and SOM Among Teams Competing For Multi-Billion Chicago O’Hare Contract, © Shutterstock
© Shutterstock

Studio Gang, BIG, Calatrava and SOM are among twelve leading architecture teams vying to work on the Chicago O'Hare International Airport expansion. The city’s request for qualifications calls for demolishing O'Hare's Terminal 2 to replace it with a global concourse and terminal for both domestic and international flights from United and American Airlines. The city’s Department of Procurement Services estimates the total costs of the expansion process (from design through construction) will cost an approximate $8.7 billion. Known as O’Hare 21, the project represents O’Hare’s first major overhaul in 25 years.

Chicago O'Hare International Airport. Image © Creative Commons Chicago O'Hare International Airport Expansion. Image © O'Hare 21 Chicago O'Hare International Airport. Image © Creative Commons Shenzhen Bao'an Int Airport T3 Hall. Image © Christian Gänshirt + 5

SOM Breaks Ground on Block 9 in Downtown Fargo

14:00 - 13 September, 2018
SOM Breaks Ground on Block 9 in Downtown Fargo, Block 9. Image Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Block 9. Image Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

The architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill have broken ground on Block 9, an 18-story mixed use tower in the heart of downtown Fargo, North Dakota. Inspired by the the prairies, the development was designed to reflect the scale of the city and surrounding buildings. The project includes an expansive public plaza with retail, office, hotel, and residential programming, and will make use of timber and local stone. Developed by Block 9 Partners, a partnership of Kilbourne Group and R.D. Offutt Company, the mixed-use tower will transform Fargo’s skyline.

Block 9. Image Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Block 9. Image Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Block 9. Image Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Block 9. Image Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill + 6

SOM: Art + Engineering + Architecture

13:35 - 7 August, 2018
SOM: Art + Engineering + Architecture, PhotoPhoto courtesy SOM  © Fotoworks/Benny Chan
PhotoPhoto courtesy SOM © Fotoworks/Benny Chan

The MAK Center for Art and Architecture in Los Angeles, in partnership with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM), is hosting a panel discussion on the intersection of art, engineering, and architecture. Set in the beautiful outdoor courtyard of the historic Schindler House in West Hollywood, the event brings together a variety of experts to discuss historical and contemporary positions regarding this theme. 

The SOM Foundation Announces New Research Prize Focusing on "Humanizing High Density"

08:00 - 6 August, 2018
The SOM Foundation Announces New Research Prize Focusing on "Humanizing High Density", One World Trade Center / SOM. Image Courtesy of James Ewing
One World Trade Center / SOM. Image Courtesy of James Ewing

People are moving into urban centers at an unprecedented rate. According to the United Nations, the world's urban population has increased from 751 million in 1950 to 4.2 billion in 2018. By 2050, an additional 2.5 billion people are expected to reside in urban areas. In response to this rapid urban growth, designers are challenged to create sustainable and resilient spaces that accommodate complex human needs, both necessary and desired.

World-renowned architecture, interior design, engineering, and urban planning firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) invites educators and students from across the U.S. to engage in the 2018 SOM Foundation Research Prize: "Humanizing High Density." The SOM Foundation Research Prize is awarded to a faculty-led interdisciplinary design research proposal "with the potential to advance the practice of architecture, structures, urban design and related design disciplines."

The Architecture Behind a Brave Racoon's Viral Skyscraper Climb

09:30 - 11 July, 2018
The Architecture Behind a Brave Racoon's Viral Skyscraper Climb, © Evan Frost/<a href='https://www.mprnews.org/'>MPR News</a>
© Evan Frost/MPR News

This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "SOM Explains Exactly How a Raccoon Scaled Its St. Paul Skyscraper."

After completing Town Square, a mixed-use, double-tower complex in the heart of St. Paul, Minnesota in 1980, the late architect Donald Smith of SOM told Architectural Record magazine, “We must reorient our attention to the center [of] cities to save them.”

Smith’s words were prophetic, it turns out, but not in the way he may have expected.

Last month, Town Square—now known as UBS Plaza—captured the attention of the globe as a scraggly, wayward raccoon climbed up its southern tower’s 25 stories.

The rough, exposed aggregate concrete facade allowed the raccoon to scale the building like a tree. Image © Evan Frost/<a href='https://www.mprnews.org/'>MPR News</a> When completed in 1980, SOM's Town Square project in St. Paul (designed by the firm's Denver office) was a prime example of late-'70s mixed use buildings. Image Courtesy of SOM / © Hedrich Blessing The complex, as late architect Donald Smith told Architectural Record at the time, aimed to foster development in urban centers "in terms of people, not the automobile". Image Courtesy of SOM / © Hedrich Blessing Detail of the building's concrete facade system. Image Courtesy of SOM + 7

SOM Receives Planning Permission for Angular Skyscraper in City of London

12:20 - 10 July, 2018
Courtesy of SOM
Courtesy of SOM

This morning, planning permission was awarded for the construction of 100 Leadenhall Street, an SOM-designed skyscraper in the eastern cluster of skyscrapers in the City of London. At 263.4 meters tall, the building will be the third tallest in the cluster, trailing only 1 Undershaft (305 meters), which is approved but yet to begin construction, and 22 Bishopsgate (278 meters), which is currently under construction. The Shard, at 310 meters, is also nearby on the south of the river.

Building a Career in Architecture: A Designer Reflects on Her First Three Years at SOM

09:30 - 29 June, 2018
Building a Career in Architecture: A Designer Reflects on Her First Three Years at SOM, © SOM | Lucas Blair
© SOM | Lucas Blair

Not so long ago, Lulu Li was in a classroom in graduate school, inspired by her education, the buildings around her, and a childhood dream. Since joining SOM as an entry-level architect a little more than three years ago, Lulu has grown in her role. She’s now a leader of the design team for a new science center at Wellesley College. We spoke with Lulu to learn more about her experience: the opportunities she’s found, the challenges she’s faced, and her advice for new graduates ready to begin their careers.

How did you get interested in architecture?

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.