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Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

The Polstjärnan (or Pole Star) skyscraper, by SOM (Image: Serneke)

Following an international architecture competition, Skidmore Owings and Merril (SOM) has been given the nod to produce what will be Scandinavia's tallest building. Based in Gothenburg, Sweden, the Polstjärnan (or Pole Star) residential skyscraper is due for completion in 2019.  Read More

Could Berg C.F. Møller's vision prove a blueprint for getting the wooden skyscraper right?...

Skyscrapers dominate the skylines of our major cities, offering more urban density and greater flexibility than smaller buildings. However, concrete- and steel-based tall structures require huge amounts of energy for their construction, which comes at a significant environmental cost. This can be mitigated by incorporating technologies such as solar power, passive cooling systems and efficient lighting into the design, but what if we could go even further and build skyscrapers using sustainable materials? Herein lies the impetus behind recent research into the efficacy of wooden skyscrapers.  Read More

Interior view of Penn Station by DS+R Design (Image: DS+R Design)

Like many US railway stations, New York’s Penn Station is a shadow of its former self. With redevelopment of the station hindered by its location under Madison Square Garden, the Municipal Art Society (MAS) of New York hopes to relocate the gardens and rebuild the station for the 21st century. Last week, the MAS announced four possible designs for Penn Station and Madison Square Garden as part of its Design Challenge aimed at replacing or remodelling the current structure.  Read More

Zhengzhou Greenland Plaza at dusk (Photo: SOM)

The 60-story Zhengzhou Greenland Plaza, the tallest building in Zhengzhou, the capital city of central China's Henan province, officially opened its doors for the first time earlier this month.  Read More

SOM's approach to net zero design begins with the fundamentals: the building's shape (Imag...

Net zero: put together, they're two of the buzzwords of contemporary building design. Sometimes the phrasing's a little different. ZNE, or zero net energy, is one variation; zero-energy building is another. They're all the same thing, though: buildings designed to offset their energy consumption over the course of a year, every year. Work has commenced on one such project, a 444-student primary school on Staten Island, New York, designed by architects at SOM and engineers at AKF.  Read More

The 'UFO' viewing platform of SOM's Grand Central Terminal of tomorrow (Image: © 2012 SOM/...

Three leading architects gathered last week at the third annual summit of The Municipal Art Society to present their visions for the dramatic redevelopment of New York's Grand Central Terminal. Foster + Partners, SOM and WXY each put forward ideas to renew Grand Central's grandeur, while also making it fit for purpose for the the hundreds of thousands of people that will use the station on any given day in the next hundred years. The three schemes offer strikingly different visions for the future of the terminal, though only one includes an enormous flying saucer.  Read More

Architectural practice SOM's 17.6-sq km (6.8-sq mile) master plan for Beijing Bohai Innova...

Architectural practice SOM's 17.6-sq km (6.8-sq mile) master plan for Beijing Bohai Innovation City has won an international design competition for the redevelopment of the region. The design is focused on a redevelopment corridor along the high-speed rail connection between Beijing, and the port of Tianjin. Though incorporating existing infrastructure, the scheme constitutes an ambitious planned city, and one which, if fully realized, may set a new standard for environmentally-conscious urban planning.  Read More

Upon completion the Pearl River Tower will be one of the greenest skyscrapers in the world

The 71-story Pearl River Tower, described as one of the most energy-efficient skyscrapers in the world, has reached its topping out milestone on the way to its planned completion later this year. (For those not in the architectural know, topping out or topping off is a ceremony held when the last beam is placed at the top of a building.) With a height of 309.6 meters the 2.3-million square-foot Pearl River Tower incorporates the latest green technology and engineering advancements, the most immediately obvious of which will be a pair of openings in the tower’s facade which feed wind turbines to generate energy for the building.  Read More

Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP intend to install a geothermal heat exchange system in a ...

Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP (SOM) has just unveiled details of the first phase for the expansion and redevelopment of three business districts in China's capital city, Beijing. Key to the success of the project is the installation of a Central Park area which will help to heat and cool energy efficient buildings in the Dawangjing District by geothermal exchange instead of relying on energy-intensive cooling towers.  Read More

Sears Tower adds glass 'walk out' 1350 feet high

If you're ever likely to suffer from Acrophobia (from the Greek: akron , meaning "peak, summit, edge" and phobos, "fear" and meaning an extreme or irrational fear of heights), then Sears Tower in Chicago is the place that'll surely bring it on. Standing at 1,450 feet and 110 stories, Sears Tower is the tallest building in North America and the third tallest building in the world. The building recently added a new attraction as part of an updated Skydeck Chicago experience. Christened “The Ledge”, it's a series of glass bays on the 103rd floor that offer visitors unobstructed views of Chicago – 1,353 feet straight down.  Read More

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