Engineers and architects often have heated arguments about which of them is more important, but the guys at SOM LLP don’t waste time on silly arguments. SOM architecture is all about combining engineering, architecture, and art, and the world’s tallest building proves it. Architecture is the way to build beautiful structures that reflect who we are as a culture, but engineering is the science that makes it happen. Without engineering, buildings would crumble. Without architecture, we might as well be living inside a box.
A recent exhibit at Mexico City’s Mextropoli architecture festival shows renderings, models to scale, and plans that show this close relationship between engineering and the buildings they have designed. SMO puts a heavy emphasis on structural art, hence all of those facades that show lines and patterns made from mathematical exercises.
Take this structure, for example. It’s seems simple enough, but to get there they had to use a serious of geometric and mathematical tools in order to ensure the structure was safe.
This historical architecture firm (formed by the initials of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill) is a partnership whose design aspires to be distinctive, coherent, and a beautifully-crafted synthesis of programmatic function, structural rationale, and environmental sustainability. The firm certainly strives to create some of the most meaningful architecture of its time.
Founded in 1936, SOM is a multi-disciplinary design partnership comprised of architects, engineers, interior designers, urban planners and other design professionals, with offices in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington DC, London, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Dubai.
An SOM design is the result of a close collaboration between architects and engineers.
Throughout its history, the integration of structural expression and architectural design has been a defining tenet of SOM’s work. This exhibition highlights the firm’s design methodology by several themes.
Artists, engineers, and architects alike share a practice defined by inquiry, experimentation, and ingenuity. Around the globe, SOM works hand in hand with artists and other architects to facilitate the creation of works of art that challenge convention.
For over 50 years, guided by its continued research into structural systems, SOM strives to bring its pioneering engineering solutions to the next generation of architectural design.
One of their greatest hits is the tallest building in the world: the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
There’s also the Willis Tower in Chicago.
The Lever House
It’s no wonder their motto is “An engineer should design a structure that an architect would be ashamed to cover up.”
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