Take a VR tour of the new L.A. Federal Courthouse, an “unusually polished work of civic architecture”
The $350-million, 633,000-square-foot courthouse, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, is an unusually polished work of civic architecture — especially by the standards of Los Angeles...This is a building that wants to look respectable and rational but not staid, one that is fairly conventional on the horizontal plane and takes a significant if measured chance on the vertical one. Still, it’s a chance that pays off.
— Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times
Christopher Hawthorne gives a thumbs up in his review of SOM's design for the now-completed Los Angeles U.S. Courthouse, which appears to “float” in mid-air. Don't forget to check out a virtual tour of the building in the video below.Previously on Archinect:LA Federal Courthouse under... View full entry
Now THAT's a skywalk! Jin Mao Tower to open world's highest fenceless, all transparent walkway in Shanghai
Looking for something new to do in Shanghai? Well, if you're someone who enjoys dangling off a terrifyingly high ledge with nothing but a safety rope to stop you from plunging to your death, then have we got an activity for you!
Tomorrow, a skywalk will open outside of the 88th floor of the Jin Mao Tower in Lujiazui. [...] it will be the highest fenceless, all transparent walkway outside a high-rise building in the world and is sure to scare you senseless, 340 meters above the ground.
For more terrifying photos, head over to Shanghaiist (if you can handle it).Related stories in the Archinect news:Chinese glass-bottom walkway cracks below tourists – 3,540 feet above groundChina opens 590-foot-high glass-bottom bridgeSorry, Willis Tower, but Shanghai Tower just kicked you out... View full entry
SOM releases renders of Philadelphia transit master plan
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill released new rendering of their proposal for a master plan for Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station Precinct. Described as a “long-awaited vision of a bold, fully-integrated mixed-use urban district, with a vibrant transformation hub situated at its core,” the... View full entry
30th St. Station District Plan Proposes Mixed-Use Neighborhood Above Rail Yards
In addition to the dense mixed-use development above the rail yards, the new draft calls for doubling the size of Drexel Park, a river overlook, a series of boardwalks and green spaces along the west bank trail of the Schuylkill, and a transit terminal for buses.
SOM wins sixth AIA Twenty-Five Year Award with the Exchange House
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill can update their track record of AIA awards with the recent win of their sixth AIA Twenty-Five Year Award for the Exchange House at the Broadgate development in central London. Since 1969, the AIA bestows its sought-after Twenty-Five Year Award to a completed... View full entry
Michael Kimmelman Reviews 1 World Trade Center
“It’s not so bad,” offered an architect who has a window facing the building.
Alas, it is.
Like the corporate campus and plaza it shares, 1 World Trade speaks volumes about political opportunism, outmoded thinking and upside-down urban priorities. It’s what happens when a commercial developer is pretty much handed the keys to the castle.
— The New York Times
SOM and Entasis chosen to design Scandinavia’s tallest tower in Gothenburg, Sweden
The London office of SOM and Copenhagen-based firm Entasis -- who collaborated with COWI in Denmark and Sweden -- was just announced as having the winning design for the Polestar Tower in Gothenburg, Sweden. Once built, the 230 m. structure will reportedly be Scandinavia's tallest tower.
Since our last update on the Gothenburg tower competition, five star-studded finalist teams submitted their proposals under anonymity. SOM and Entasis went against teams led by Zaha Hadid Architects, Ian Simpson Architects, Wingårdhs Arkitektkontor, and Manuelle Gautrand... View full entry
Finalists announced for Scandinavia’s tallest skyscraper in Gothenburg, Sweden
It's no surprise that the stakes are high to design the Gothenburg tower in Sweden, a mixed-use tower that will be the tallest building in the Nordic region. Swedish construction company SERNEKE initiated the idea of the skyscraper. Each team submitted their proposal under anonymity to the jury... View full entry
New U.S. Consulate General by SOM officially opens in Guangzhou
U.S. and local Chinese officials gathered to host the ribbon-cutting of the new U.S. Consulate General today in Guangzhou, China. Perceived as a symbol of the bilateral relationship between the U.S. and China, companies from both countries collaborated on the $267 million project, which broke... View full entry
SOM-designed Mumbai Airport Terminal 2 celebrates its inauguration
The Chhatrapatri Shivaji International Airport Terminal 2 designed by Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill celebrated its opening late last week in Mumbai. India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, along with visiting dignitaries and representatives from the developer GVK, inaugurated the new terminal... View full entry
LA Federal Courthouse under construction
Since we first announced that Skidmore, Owings & Merrill was chosen to design the new federal courthouse in Downtown LA, construction for the new cubic courthouse at the corner of First Street and Broadway began on August 8. The approx. 600,000 square-foot building was proposed back in... View full entry
An Architect Whose Work Stood Out, Even if She Did Not
Almost invisibly in her own day, Natalie de Blois, of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, helped guide the design of three of the most important corporate landmarks of the 1950s and ‘60s — the headquarters of Lever Brothers, Pepsi-Cola and Union Carbide — whose suave steel-and-glass facades still exude the cool confidence of postwar Park Avenue.
— New York Times
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill to Design Federal Courthouse
Federal officials this morning announced that Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Architects has won the contract to build a $400 million Downtown courthouse.
“Today, the new federal courthouse is that much closer to becoming a reality for downtown Los Angeles,” said Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard in a prepared statement. The selection, she said, “means we are moving toward the groundbreaking of a critically needed facility that will resolve long-standing security and space issues.”
How to Be an Architecture Critic
We are rarely roused by the day-to-day, brick-by-brick additions that have the most power to change our environment. We know what we already like but not how to describe it, or how to change it, or how to change our minds. We need to learn how to read a building, an urban plan, a developer’s rendering, and to see where critique might make a difference.... We need more critics — citizen critics — equipped with the desire and the vocabulary to remake the city.
— Places Journal
Places features an essay from Alexandra Lange's new book Writing About Architecture: Mastering the Language of Buildings and Cities (Princeton Architectural Press, 2012). Lange takes on a classic text by Ada Louise Huxtable — a review of SOM’s 1967 Marine Midland Bank... View full entry