Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, or SOM is a global firm that offers professional services in architecture, engineering, urban planning, and design. The firm was founded in 1936 by Louis Skidmore and Nathaniel Owings in Chicago and was later joined by engineer John Merrill in 1939. It has designed some of the world’s most iconic buildings and urban projects, such as the Willis Tower, the Burj Khalifa, the One World Trade Center, and the Moon Village. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s work is driven by its purpose to build a better future for people and the planet. The firm has developed innovative strategies to reduce the carbon impact of its projects, such as the Whole Life Carbon Accounting service, which measures and evaluates the environmental impact of a project from its inception to its end-of-life. It collaborates with clients, partners, and communities to create sustainable and resilient solutions for complex challenges. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s portfolio spans various scales and project types, from local courthouses to international embassies, from net-zero-energy schools to lunar settlements. The firm’s multidisciplinary practice integrates architecture, engineering, and design to create functional, beautiful, high-performance buildings and spaces. It has received numerous awards and recognitions for its excellence and innovation, including 10 AIA National Honor Awards, 13 AIA COTE Top Ten Awards, and 40 RIBA Awards. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill is regarded as one of the world’s most influential and respected architectural firms.
What is Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Architecture?
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP is an American firm that provides services in architecture, urban planning, engineering, and design. The firm has designed the world’s most iconic and influential buildings, such as the Burj Khalifa, the Willis Tower, and the One World Trade Center. It is known for its innovation, sustainability, and collaboration across disciplines and scales. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Architecture was founded in 1936 by Louis Skidmore and Nathaniel Owings in Chicago, Illinois. In 1939, they were joined by engineer John Merrill, who became a partner in the firm. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Architecture expanded its offices to New York City in 1937 and later to other cities in the United States and internationally. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Architecture has received numerous awards and recognitions for its work, including 10 Pritzker Architecture Prize laureates, 20 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Firm Awards, and 1,800 design awards since 1962. The firm works on various projects, including skyscrapers, airports, museums, schools, hospitals, and master plans. It aims to create functional, beautiful, and environmentally responsible buildings. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Architecture also offers a standalone service for evaluating and measuring the life carbon emissions of a project, giving clients a holistic view of its environmental impact. The firm is currently working on projects such as the new headquarters for The Walt Disney Company, the restoration and renovation of the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, and the design of the Moon Village, a concept for the first permanent lunar settlement.
What is the history of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill?
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill is the name of the architectural practice founded by Louis Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Nathaniel Owings, and John Merrill in 1936. The firm started in Chicago, where Skidmore and Owings met and decided to form a partnership. They were joined by Merrill, an engineer, in 1939. The firm’s first major project was the design of the Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago in 1933, which showcased modern architecture and technology. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill expanded to New York in 1937, designing iconic buildings such as Lever House, Chase Manhattan Bank, and One Chase Manhattan Plaza. The firm also established a reputation for designing innovative skyscrapers, such as the John Hancock Center and the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) in Chicago, the tallest buildings in the world when completed.
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill opened offices in other cities and countries, such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Dubai. The firm’s global portfolio includes projects such as the United Nations Headquarters, the Air Force Academy, the Hajj Terminal, the Burj Khalifa, and the One World Trade Center. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s practice is multidisciplinary, encompassing architecture, engineering, urban planning, interior design, and sustainable design. The firm has won many awards and honors for its work, including the AIA Firm Award, the RIBA Gold Medal, and the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s current work includes the new headquarters for The Walt Disney Company, the global headquarters for Citigroup, the Moynihan Train Hall, the expanded Penn Station complex, and the restoration and renovation of the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. The firm is also involved in airport projects, urban master plans, net-zero-energy schools, and the design of the Moon Village, a concept for the first permanent lunar settlement.
Where is Skidmore, Owings & Merrill located?
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP is located in multiple cities worldwide. The firm has offices in New York City, London, and Tokyo. In New York City, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Architecture is in the urban environment, known for its iconic skyline and diverse architectural landscape. The London office is located in the cosmopolitan capital of England, popular for its historical landmarks and modern architectural achievements. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Architecture’s presence in Hong Kong places them in the lively metropolis of Hong Kong, celebrated for its unique blend of traditional and contemporary architectural styles.
What does Skidmore, Owings & Merrill focus on building?
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill focuses on building various structures, including commercial buildings, residential complexes, cultural centers, educational institutions, and transportation hubs. The firm’s expertise extends to urban planning and sustainable design. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Architecture’s diverse portfolio reflects its commitment to creating functional and aesthetically pleasing spaces that meet the needs of its clients and the communities it serves. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s focus on various building types stems from their belief in designing spaces that enhance people’s lives and contribute positively to the surrounding environment. It recognizes that different spaces have unique requirements and must harmonize with their surroundings. Their approach emphasizes functionality, innovation, and sustainability, using cutting-edge technologies and materials to create efficient, environmentally friendly, visually appealing structures.
Who is the owner of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP?
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP is a global architectural, urban planning, and engineering firm. It has no single owner but operates as a limited liability partnership with many partners across its offices. The firm was founded in 1936 by Louis Skidmore and Nathaniel Owings in Chicago. In 1939, they were joined by engineer John Merrill, who became the third partner. The firm expanded internationally and became known for its innovative and influential skyscraper designs, such as the Willis Tower, the John Hancock Center, and the Burj Khalifa.
Who is the CEO of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP?
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill do not have a CEO in the traditional sense. It is structured differently as a partnership-based organization. The firm is governed by a group of partners overseeing its operations and projects. These partners work collaboratively to guide the firm’s strategic direction and ensure the successful execution of its architectural projects.
What is the mission of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill?
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill has a mission to create innovative and sustainable architectural solutions that respond to the complex challenges of the built environment. The firm aims to design buildings and spaces that harmoniously integrate with their surroundings, enhance the human experience, and contribute to the well-being of communities. It believes that architecture has the power to shape society and strives to deliver projects that are functional, efficient, and environmentally responsible. A commitment to design excellence, client satisfaction, and the pursuit of a sustainable future drives Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s mission. The firm recognizes the importance of collaboration and interdisciplinary thinking in achieving its goals. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill promotes diversity, inclusivity, and social responsibility in its architectural practice. The firm recognizes the significance of creating spaces that are accessible and inclusive for all individuals, regardless of their background or abilities.
What are the most famous projects of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill?
Listed below are the most famous projects created by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill or SOM:
- Burj Khalifa: Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world, standing at 2,717 feet (828 meters). It is located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and was completed in 2010. The tower has a mixed-use program, including residential, office, hotel, and observation deck spaces. The design by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Architecture is inspired by the geometry and patterns of Islamic architecture and features a slender, tapering form that reduces wind loads and minimizes the building’s environmental impact.
- Willis Tower: Willis Tower, formerly the Sears Tower, is a skyscraper in Chicago, Illinois, USA, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Architecture. It was the tallest building in the world from 1974 to 1998 and is still the second-tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, with a height of 1,450 feet (442 meters). The tower was designed as a bundle of nine tubes, each with a different height, creating a stepped profile that allows for large floor plates and panoramic views. The tower is a landmark of Chicago and a symbol of its economic and cultural power.
- One World Trade Center: One World Trade Center is the main building of the rebuilt World Trade Center complex in New York City, USA. It is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the sixth-tallest building in the world, with a height of 1,776 feet (541 meters). The tower was completed in 2014 and serves as a memorial to the victims of the September 11 attacks, as well as a statement of resilience and hope. The design by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Architecture features a square base that transitions into an octagonal form and then a glass curtain wall that culminates in a spire. The tower incorporates advanced security, sustainability, and technology features and offers office, retail, and observation deck spaces.
- Lever House: Lever House is a historic building in New York City, USA, considered one of the first examples of the International Style in American architecture. It was completed in 1952 and was the headquarters of the Lever Brothers soap company. The building is a 21-story glass tower that rests on a one-story base, contrasting transparency and solidity. The design also features a public plaza, a landscaped courtyard, and a cantilevered structure, allowing natural light and ventilation. The building is a landmark of modern architecture and a pioneer of corporate skyscraper design from Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Architecture.
- Cadet Chapel: Cadet Chapel is the most distinctive United States Air Force Academy building in Colorado Springs, USA. It was completed in 1962 and served as a place of worship for cadets of various faiths. The building comprises 17 aluminum spires that form a triangular shape, creating a dramatic and futuristic appearance. The interior by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Architecture features stained glass windows, organ pipes, and separate chapels for Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist, and Muslim services. The building is a masterpiece of expressionist architecture and a symbol of the academy’s spirit and mission.
Who are the most important clients of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill?
Listed below are the most important clients in cooperation with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill:
- The Walt Disney Company: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill designed the new headquarters for The Walt Disney Company in New York City, which is expected to be completed in 2024. The project will create a state-of-the-art media campus that will house the company’s various divisions and brands. The design features a series of stacked glass volumes that reflect the diversity and creativity of the company. The project aims to achieve LEED Gold certification and incorporate high-performance systems and materials.
- Citigroup: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill designed the global headquarters for Citigroup in New York City, which was completed in 2019. The project involved renovating and modernizing the existing 50-story tower and the addition of a new 12-story podium. The design transformed the building into a more transparent, collaborative, and sustainable workplace that reflects the company’s values and culture. The project also achieved LEED Platinum certification and reduced the building’s energy use by 30%.
- European Space Agency: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill collaborated with the European Space Agency and Massachusetts Institute of Technology to design the Moon Village, a concept for the first permanent lunar settlement. The project envisions a series of inflatable modules that can be assembled and expanded over time to accommodate different functions and activities. The design also incorporates local resources, such as lunar soil and ice, to create a self-sufficient and resilient community. The project aims to advance scientific research, exploration, and innovation on the moon.
- U.S. Department of State: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill has designed several U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide, such as in Beijing, Berlin, Istanbul, and Dhahran. The projects follow the design excellence principles and security standards of the U.S. Department of State while respecting each site’s local context and culture. The projects also incorporate sustainable features, such as renewable energy, water conservation, and natural ventilation, to reduce the buildings’ environmental impact and operational costs.
- Emaar Properties: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill designed the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which is currently the world’s tallest building at 2,717 feet (828 meters). The project was completed in 2010 and is the centerpiece of a mixed-use development that includes residential, commercial, hotel, entertainment, and retail spaces. The tower’s design was inspired by the geometry and patterns of Islamic architecture and the shape of a desert flower. The project also achieved LEED Gold certification and incorporated innovative structural and mechanical systems to withstand the extreme climate and height of the building.
What is the address of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill?
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP has multiple office locations across the globe. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Architecture’s main headquarters is at 224 S Michigan Ave # 1000, Chicago, IL 60604, United States, while some of their main office address are Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Architecture Hong Kong is at 1601, Alexandra House, 18 Chater Rd, Central, Hong Kong, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Architecture Australia is at Atelier Exchange, Level 3/351-357 Elizabeth St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Architecture UAE is at Maze Tower – Suite 901 – Sheikh Zayed Rd – Trade Centre – DIFC – Dubai – United Arab Emirates, and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Architecture California is at 333 S Grand Ave #3600, Los Angeles, CA 90071, United States.
What is Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Architecture’s contact phone number?
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, or SOM has multiple office locations across the globe. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Architecture’s main headquarters phone number is (312) 554-9090, while some of their main office address are Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Architecture Hong Kong phone number is 2810 6011, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Architecture Australia phone number is 3 8000-3630, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Architecture UAE phone number is 4 388-2345, and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Architecture California phone number is (213) 327-2400.
How do I apply to work for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill?
Applicants can follow a step-by-step process to apply for a position at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Firstly, visit the Careers page on the Skidmore, Owings & Merrill website, where applicants can learn about the opportunities, culture, and benefits of working at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Secondly, search for the current openings that match the skills, interests, and location. Applicants can filter the results by studio, discipline, and experience level. Lastly, submit the application online, which includes the resume, portfolio, and cover letter. Applicants should highlight their relevant qualifications, achievements, and motivations for joining Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Architecture.
What style of architecture does Skidmore, Owings & Merrill represent?
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill is known for its diverse portfolio of architectural styles, as the firm does not adhere to a specific or singular architectural style. It embraces a design philosophy rooted in innovation, functionality, and context. The firm believes in creating architecture that responds to each project’s unique needs and characteristics, resulting in various architectural expressions. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill have influenced several architectural movements and styles throughout history. The firm’s early works were influenced by the modernist movement, characterized by clean lines, functional spaces, and an emphasis on simplicity. Its commitment to innovation and technological advancements has also led to the exploration of cutting-edge architectural styles, such as high-tech and parametric design.
How important is it for architecture firms to follow the architecture fundamentals?
Architecture firms must follow the architecture fundamentals because they help ensure that the buildings they design are functional, aesthetically pleasing, and culturally appropriate. Architecture fundamentals are the basic principles and guidelines that architects use to create harmonious and balanced structures that meet the needs of their users and the environment. These principles help architects organize their buildings’ spaces, materials, and forms coherently and effectively.
Should all architecture companies have a portfolio?
Yes, all architecture companies should have a portfolio. A portfolio is a key factor in a potential client’s decision to hire an architecture firm, as it visually represents its capabilities and experience. It demonstrates an architecture firm’s skills and creativity and can help establish a reputation and communicate effectively with clients. Without a portfolio, an architecture firm may lose opportunities to showcase its work and attract new projects. It is an essential tool for any architecture firm that wants to succeed in the competitive and dynamic field of architecture.