Search-icon

SOM

Architecture of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, 1997-2008

By

Hardcover published by The Monacelli Press (The Monacelli Press)

have you read it? rate it!
Histogram_reset_icon
ADD TO MY SHELF
About This Book
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, founded in 1936, is one of the largest and most influential architecture firms in the world. SOM has long been known for innovation, experimentation, design excellence, and technical mastery, for an abiding interest in the contributions that buildings can make to the life of cities, and for a collaborative approach that extends to all aspects of the design and construction processes. This volume presents work from the late 1990s and 2000s.

In an era of true globalization in design and commerce, SOM has come to occupy a unique place in American and international architecture. Recognized for the exceptional quality of its architectural design and urban planning, the firm is also renowned for its clients, an eminent group of businesses and institutions. In the years 1997–2008, the period represented in this monograph, SOM’s steadfast dedication to a modern expression has produced an important series of works at all scales, in a variety of typologies, in countries around the world. From the diminutive Skyscraper Museum in New York City to the radiant Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland, California, to the master plan and two buildings for the University of California Merced, the newest U.C. campus, the works shown here illustrate the remarkable range of SOM’s current practice.

Perhaps no work exemplifies the firm’s creative, multifaceted approach as much as 7 World Trade Center, the first structure built at the World Trade Center after September 11, 2001. On a site claimed by commerce but also subject to the demands of memory, SOM created an elegant stainless-steel and glass tower that restores the New York City street grid and begins the process of remaking this part of the city. A suggestive combination of artistic and structural expertise, dedication to finding sustainable design solutions, collaborations with preeminent artists and designers, and commitment to urbanism characterize not only 7 World Trade Center but SOM’s recent body of work.

Among the projects shown is the massive U.S. Census Bureau Headquarters in Suitland, Maryland, the first federal office building to receive a LEED rating. The U.S. Embassy in Beijing elegantly responds to the local culture and site. An abundance of airport projects—in New York, San Francisco, Boston, Israel, and Singapore—shows SOM’s mastery of this complex project type. The firm’s commitment to urbanism and its ability to work at a large scale on sites of great visibility are evident in the designs for the Time Warner Center in New York and Tokyo Midtown, as well as in a series of grand master plans: Chongming Island in Shanghai, the redevelopment of the waterfront in Alexandria, Egypt, and Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay. At the same time, the firm often works at a fine scale, as in the Burr Street School in Connecticut, the retail prototype for Charles Schwab, and the Condé Nast Cafeteria in New York.

Kenneth Frampton brings a historian’s perspective to SOM’s recent work, tracing its evolution back to the Miesian modernism dominant at the time of the firm’s founding and forward to the cutting-edge technical advances to which the firm has devoted itself. Large-span structures, high-rise towers, low-rise topographic forms, compositions that incorporate media, and constructivist essays: all contribute to the development of contemporary architecture and contemporary urbanism alike. Well into its eighth decade of practice, SOM continues on a course of twenty-first century modernism, a modernism that is diverse and inclusive, contextual, urbane, and populist.
Show less
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, founded in 1936, is one of the largest and most influential architecture firms in the world. SOM has long been known for innovation, experimentation, design excellence, and technical mastery, for an abiding interest in the contributions that buildings can make to the life of cities, and for a collaborative approach that extends to all aspects of the design and construction processes. This volume presents work from the late 1990s and 2000s.

In an era of true globalization in design and commerce, SOM has come to occupy a unique place in American and international architecture. Recognized for the exceptional quality of its architectural design and urban planning, the firm is also renowned for its clients, an eminent group of businesses and institutions. In the years 1997–2008, the period represented in this monograph, SOM’s steadfast dedication to a modern expression has produced an important series of works at all scales, in a variety of typologies, in countries around the world. From the diminutive Skyscraper Museum in New York City to the radiant Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland, California, to the master plan and two buildings for the University of California Merced, the newest U.C. campus, the works shown here illustrate the remarkable range of SOM’s current practice.

Perhaps no work exemplifies the firm’s creative, multifaceted approach as much as 7 World Trade Center, the first structure built at the World Trade Center after September 11, 2001. On a site claimed by commerce but also subject to the demands of memory, SOM created an elegant stainless-steel and glass tower that restores the New York City street grid and begins the process of remaking this part of the city. A suggestive combination of artistic and structural expertise, dedication to finding sustainable design solutions, collaborations with preeminent artists and designers, and commitment to urbanism characterize not only 7 World Trade Center but SOM’s recent body of work.

Among the projects shown is the massive U.S. Census Bureau Headquarters in Suitland, Maryland, the first federal office building to receive a LEED rating. The U.S. Embassy in Beijing elegantly responds to the local culture and site. An abundance of airport projects—in New York, San Francisco, Boston, Israel, and Singapore—shows SOM’s mastery of this complex project type. The firm’s commitment to urbanism and its ability to work at a large scale on sites of great visibility are evident in the designs for the Time Warner Center in New York and Tokyo Midtown, as well as in a series of grand master plans: Chongming Island in Shanghai, the redevelopment of the waterfront in Alexandria, Egypt, and Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay. At the same time, the firm often works at a fine scale, as in the Burr Street School in Connecticut, the retail prototype for Charles Schwab, and the Condé Nast Cafeteria in New York.

Kenneth Frampton brings a historian’s perspective to SOM’s recent work, tracing its evolution back to the Miesian modernism dominant at the time of the firm’s founding and forward to the cutting-edge technical advances to which the firm has devoted itself. Large-span structures, high-rise towers, low-rise topographic forms, compositions that incorporate media, and constructivist essays: all contribute to the development of contemporary architecture and contemporary urbanism alike. Well into its eighth decade of practice, SOM continues on a course of twenty-first century modernism, a modernism that is diverse and inclusive, contextual, urbane, and populist.
Product Details
Hardcover (256 pages)
Published: November 17, 2009
Publisher: The Monacelli Press
Imprint: The Monacelli Press
ISBN: 9781580932240
Other books byKenneth Frampton
  • Richard Meier Architect

    Richard Meier Architect
    Volume 6
    The sixth volume in Rizzoli's best-selling series of monographs on the work of Richard Meier, one of America's most important and acclaimed architects. Richard Meier Architect: Volume 6 comprehensively documents the architect's work since 2009. This extensively illustrated presentation, designed by renowned graphic artist Massimo Vignelli, vividly conveys the purity and power of Meier's unique and celebrated vision. Thirty residential, commercial, and civic projects are featured, including new residential complexes in Italy, Japan, Israel, and Turkey; private homes in the United States, Switzerland, Italy, and Luxembourg; a public plaza in Germany; a U.S. courthouse and a clubhouse in China; and other projects in Mexico, Canada, Brazil, India, South Korea, and France. The development and significance of Meier's work is discussed in an essay by the distinguished architectural historian Kenneth Frampton. The architect himself contributes a preface that provides a fascinating glimpse into his thought processes and working methods. A biographical chronology and selected bibliography complete this lavish monograph on a modern American master.

    Le Corbusier

    Le Corbusier
    Architect of the Twentieth Century

    Modern Architecture

    Modern Architecture
    A Critical History
    This acclaimed survey of modern architecture and its origins has become a classic since it first appeared in 1980. For the fourth edition Kenneth Frampton has added a major new section that explores the effects of globalization on architecture in recent years and examines the phenomenon of international celebrity architects who are increasingly active all over the world. The bibliography has been updated and expanded, making this volume more complete and indispensable than ever.

    American Masterworks

    American Masterworks
    Houses of the Twentieth & Twenty-first Centuries
    This beautiful, authoritative book celebrates great American residential design. Its wide-ranging content highlights the most important works by the influential architects of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Presented are approximately forty-five icons of modern architecture, including the Greene brothers’ arts-and-crafts Gamble House; Michael Graves’ neoclassical villa; Richard Neutra’s California Modern Kaufmann House; and three Frank Lloyd Wright masterpieces: Fallingwater, and the Storer and Sturges houses, as well as masterpieces by Richard Meier, Frank Gehry, and Peter Eisenman. First published in 1995, this expanded and updated edition includes twelve important additions to the canon. Works by a new generation of influential architects include Zoka Zola’s award-winning Pfanner House; Michael Bell’s Binocular House; and Peter Bohlin’s Ledge House. It is the ultimate compendium of great American house design.

Favorite QuotesFROM THIS BOOK
Quote Cannot be Empty

Submitted quotes are usually posted within 48 hours

ThanksYour Quote Will be posted Shortly
Bookish