WRNS Studio to expand Microsoft headquarters in Mountain View with green roof, creekside habitat

A field of green for Microsoft's campus overhaul and expansion. (Steelblue/ WRNS Studio)

A field of green for Microsoft’s campus overhaul and expansion. (Steelblue/ WRNS Studio)

Last week Microsoft submitted plans to the city of Mountain View to expand its Silicon Valley headquarters. As with Apple’s upcoming building and Google’s proposed campus, this one is also pastoral and eco-minded. A rendering by shows the low-rise office buildings enmeshed in a riparian landscape and topped by an expanse of verdant meadow.

Continue after the jump.

Chicago’s Willis Tower falls off top ten list of tallest buildings in world

Chicago in 2010. (Monika Thorpe via Flickr)

The former tallest building in the world, now 11th, the Willis Tower in Chicago. (Monika Thorpe/Flickr)

The Willis Tower (formerly known as, and still referred to by locals as, the Sears Tower) has been bumped from the Council on Tall Buildings & Urban Habitat’s (CTBUH) top ten tallest buildings in the world list with the completion of the Gensler-designed Shanghai Tower in Shanghai, China.

More after the jump.

SOM design to replace Long Beach’s Late Modern civic center

A sleek vision from SOM replaces the Late Modern Long Beach Civic Center. (SOM/ Courtesy PECP)

A sleek vision from SOM replaces the Late Modern Long Beach Civic Center. (SOM/ Courtesy PECP)

It’s too late for Late Modernism in Long Beach after the city council voted unanimously to demolish the existing Long Beach Civic Center and replace it with a sleek modern design by SOM.

More after the jump.

Here’s Philadelphia’s ambitious plan to build a neighborhood over a railyard on the Schuylkill River

East, News, Urbanism
Monday, December 21, 2015
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SOM is leading the redesign of the area surrounding Philly's 30th Street Station (Courtesy SOM)

SOM is leading the redesign of the area surrounding Philly’s 30th Street Station (Courtesy SOM)

Cap and trade agreements are a standard tool in the climate change fight. Philadelphia, in collaboration with an urban design team led by SOM, is getting in on the game. Read More

Chris Wilkinson and John Ronan present at Facades+ conference in Chicago

Facades+ News, Midwest
Friday, December 4, 2015
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John Ronan addresses the Chicago Facades+ Conference in his key note address. (Chelsea Ross)

John Ronan addresses the Chicago Facades+ Conference in his key note address. (Chelsea Ross)

One only had to glance out the window to understand why the 18th floor of Mart Plaza hotel was the perfect venue for the Chicago addition of the Facades+ Conferences. With views of 333 W. Wacker, the Willis Tower, and a handful of new towers under construction, the history of the modern facade was on display. The conversation in the symposium would be equally as rich with local and international speakers.

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First renderings revealed for SOM’s San Francisco 1500 Mission residential tower [UPDATE]

Architecture, Development, West
Monday, October 26, 2015
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Exterior Rendering (Courtesy SOM)

Exterior Rendering (Courtesy SOM)

With backing from developers Related California, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) is moving forward with a new residential tower project at 1500 Mission Street and South Van Ness in the Bay Area of San Francisco.

View the first renderings after the jump.

SOM’s gravity-defying floating glass cube in DTLA

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(Courtesy SOM)

The building’s pleated glass envelope contains 1,672 energy efficient panels that uniquely responds to its location.

SOM has floated a glass cube above a large stepped civic plaza negotiating a sloped site in downtown Los Angeles for their United States Courthouse project, scheduled to open July, 2016 with an anticipated LEED Platinum rating. The 633,000 square foot, 220 foot tall facility includes 24 daylight-filled courtrooms and 32 judges’ chambers.

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Vishaan Chakrabarti departs SHoP to begin his own practice, the Partnership for Architecture and Urbanism

(Skyline photo by Thomas Hawk / Flickr; Montage by AN)

(Skyline photo by Thomas Hawk / Flickr; Montage by AN)

Architect and planner Vishaan Chakrabarti has had some crazy ideas over the years. In the past he has worked to convert an old Post Office adjacent to Penn Station into the monumental Moynihan Station and helped shape a loopy scheme to transform the former Domino Sugar Factory on Brooklyn’s Williamsburg Waterfront. In 2013, he even spearheaded a proposal to extend Manhattan island to connect it with Governors Island and project a new plot of land into New York Harbor.

It’s fair to say that Chakrabarti thinks big. Today, Chakrabarti announced his latest big idea: his own architecture firm called the Partnership for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU).

Read More

SOM’s Neil Katz on parametric modeling in facade design

Parametric model of structural system for a very early version of Tower One of the World Trade Center project, New York. (Courtesy Neil Katz)

Parametric model of structural system for a very early version of Tower One of the World Trade Center project, New York. (Courtesy Neil Katz)

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) associate Neil Katz describes his approach to crafting facades as involving a “computational design” methodology.

Read More

Manhattan’s newest luxury building, 252 East 57th Street, almost complete

Architecture, East, News, Skyscrapers
Monday, October 12, 2015
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Looking up at 252 East 57th Street (Courtesy

Looking up at 252 East 57th Street (Courtesy SOM)

What’s tall, glassy, and grows all over? Manhattan luxury residential buildings, the latest of which is almost complete.

On October 9th, developers presided over the topping off ceremony of 252 East 57th Street, a new luxury tower on the Upper East Side by SOM and interior architect Daniel Romualdez.

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Learning from AMIE: a look into the future of 3d printing and sustainable energy management

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(image courtesy SOM)

(image courtesy SOM)

A high-performance building prototype which shares energy with a natural-gas-powered hybrid electric vehicle.

A cross-disciplinary team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have designed an innovative single-room building module to demonstrate new manufacturing and building technology pathways. The research project, named Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy (AMIE), leverages rapid innovation through additive manufacturing, commonly known as ‘3d printing,’ to connect a natural-gas-powered hybrid electric vehicle to a high-performance building designed to produce, consume, and store renewable energy.
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Just don’t call it Frisco: Could Trump top a San Francisco tower?

Architecture, Development, Newsletter, West
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
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Transbay Transit District by Pelli Clarke Pelli. (steelblue, courtesy of Transbay Transit Center)

Transbay Transit District by Pelli Clarke Pelli. (steelblue, courtesy of Transbay Transit Center)

New York has one, Chicago has one, and now the Chronicle’s John King alerts us that San Francisco might see a Trump-brand tower in its future. No one is taking bets on the conservative presidential candidate’s name emblazoned on a highrise located in one the most progressive cities on the planet, but King is stirring the pot to call attention to a land auction hosted by Transbay Joint Powers Authority on September 2. On the docket: a parcel of land on the 500 block of Howard Street, where zoning allows for an 800-foot tower.

Continue reading after the jump.

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