SOM The Engineering of Architecture

Bill Baker & Mark Sarkisian
SOM Chicago

Lecture in cooperation with DETAIL

With its 80 years of experience in bringing together architecture and structural engineering Skidmore, Owings & Merrill remains groundbreaking to this day, particularly in the construction of gigantic skyscrapers, the so-called “supertalls”.

The exhibition and the accompanying DETAIL volume present the approaches, the roots and the theoretical background of the SOM Structural Group. One central question is how far architecture can go – in terms of height. Typical structural concepts and individual details from numerous projects across the world serve to illustrate processes of solution finding. The results illustrate the firm’s core values: simplicity, clarity, hierarchy, efficiency, economy and advancement.

A number of iconic SOM buildings such as the John Hancock Center and the Sears Tower help to position the example projects – ranging from James Turrell’s Skyspace to Burj Khalifa – within the context of SOM’s complete work. The innovative structural solutions presented here indicate how SOM enables the creation of “next generation” buildings.

Opening lecture with Bill Baker and Mark Sarkisian at the Oskar von Miller Forum, 6 pm. Opening of the exhibition at the Architekturgalerie Munich, 7.30 pm.

Exhibition: 19 January - 4 March 2016
Türkenstr. 30, 80333 München
Opening hours
Mon, Tue, Wed: 9.30 am – 7.00 pm
Thu, Fri: 9.30 am  - 7.30 pm
Sat: 9.30am - 6.00 pm 

Video of the lecture