One of the largest architectural firms in the world, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) was formed in Chicago in 1936 by Louis Skidmore and Nathaniel Owings, and in 1939 John Merrill joined the group. In 1937, the New York City branch opened, and offices are currently found around the world. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill is best known for high-quality commercial real estate, while the "glass-box" skyscraper has become its trademark. The first building that gave SOM international attention was the Lever House, built in New York City in 1952 as the corporate offices for the British soap company. Designed by Gordon Bunshaft and located in the high-rent district of Park Avenue, this International style skyscraper was built with the first glass curtain wall in New York City. The sleek, 24-story rectangular box is made of a stainless steel frame that supports the blue-green tinted glass windows, sealed to keep dust and dirt out of the building. The skyscraper rests on a two-story platform at ground level, which includes a terrace and cafeteria at the open third story. The steel framing is designed with tracks to allow window washing scaffolding, stored on the top level, to move up and down the exterior with ease. A 25-million-dollar renovation of the Lever House has just been completed, allowing the contemporary visitor to enjoy the original glass color and the beautiful sheen of the steel framing.
   In 1969, Fazlur Khan, the primary structural engineer for SOM, designed the 100-story John Hancock Center in Chicago, which was for a time the tallest building outside of New York City, and it remains one of the tallest residential buildings in the world. The exterior of this skyscraper is braced with X-shaped stainless steel bars that provide additional support to the outer walls, thus the ability to support an open interior space without a massive structural system needed in its core. The structural innovations found in this building anticipated the High-Tech architecture of the next decade and paved the way for ever-taller skyscrapers. The Sears Tower, built in Chicago in 1970-1973, was designed by Fazlur Khan and Bruce Graham of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. This 108-story building is stepped inward in three phases from its base to its top, providing a visual organization to the building by breaking up the "shaft" of the skyscraper into smaller parts, much like the three-part division seen in the earliest skyscrapers. With these tall buildings began the race for ever higher structures, and the Sears Tower was quickly superseded in height by the "supertall" Petronas Twin Towers built in Malaysia in 1996 by Cesar Pelli, then by Taipei 101, built by C. Y. Lee and Partners in Taiwan in 2004, and finally, by the Burj Dubai, a 164-story skyscraper currently under construction in the United Arab Emirates by Adrian Smith of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, due to open in 2009.
   In addition, David Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill rebuilt the World Trade Center 7, which was consumed by fire and collapsed after the bombing of the World Trade Center Twin Towers in New York City on September 11, 2001. This 52-story structure is smaller than the original building, as it was designed to accommodate a park around the structure and additional safety and environmental features within the building. The architects of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill continue to excel at large-scale projects, which number over 10,000 worldwide and include such large-scale design commissions as the Boston Transportation Planning Review, completed in the 1970s, and a series of subsequent "supertall" structures found around the world.

Historical Dictionaries of Literature and the Arts. . 2008.

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  • Skidmore, Owings & Merrill —   [ skɪdmɔː, əʊɪȖz ənd merɪl], Abkürzung SOM [esəʊ em], amerikanisches Architekturbüro mit Niederlassungen in New York (Hauptsitz), Chicago (Illinois), San Francisco (Calif.), Portland (Oregon), Washington (D. C.) …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Skidmore, Owings & Merrill — Skidmore, Owings and Merrill Aéroport international de San Francisco (2001) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Skidmore, Owings and Merrill — LLP Type Partnership Industry Architecture Founded Chicago, Illinoi …   Wikipedia

  • Skidmore, Owings and Merrill — («Скидмор, Оуингс и Меррилл»)  американское архитектурное бюро. Фирма основана в 1936 году Луисом Скидмором (англ. Louis Skidmore, 1897 1962) и Натаниэлем Оуингсом (англ. Nathaniel A. Owings, 1903 1984). С 1950 х компаньоны… …   Википедия

  • Skidmore, Owings and Merrill — Lever House an der Park Avenue in New York. Verantwortlich war Gordon Bunshaft. Gebaut 1951 bis 1952. Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP (abgekürzt SOM) ist eines der größten Architekturbüros der Welt aus Chicago, mit Zweigstellen in Los Angeles,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Skidmore, owings and merrill — Aéroport international de San Francisco (2001) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Skidmore, Owings and Merrill — es un estudio de arquitectura norteamericano, también conocido bajo las siglas SOM . Fue constituido en Chicago en el año 1936 por Louis Skidmore y Nathaniel Owings. En 1939 se incorporó John Merrill. SOM ha llegado a ser famoso por sus… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Skidmore, Owings and Merrill — (ou SOM) est une agence d architectes, dont le siège est situé à Chicago, et qui fut créée en 1936 par Louis Skidmore et Nathaniel Owings, avant l arrivée de John Merill en 1939. La première agence ouvrit ses portes à New York en 1937. SOM fait… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Skidmore, Owings and Merrill — Torre Willis, Chicago. Skidmore, Owings and Merrill es un estudio de arquitectura norteamericano, también conocido bajo las siglas SOM. Fue constituido en Chicago en el año 1936 por Louis Skidmore y Nathaniel Owings. En 1939 se incorporó John… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Skidmore, Owings and Merrill —  American architectural firm …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

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