The ambitious environmental agenda of a new elementary school by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) on Staten Island, New York, is obvious from the first encounter: almost 1,600 photovoltaic (PV) panels cloak the 68,000-sqare-foot, two-story structure, covering the south facade, extending over its roof, and cantilevering out to float above a playing field.
Diplomatic Position: In the midst of the visual hubbub of China's third-largest city, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill creates an understated ensemble of buildings for the U.S. Consulate General. The U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou, China, makes only the quietest of claims within the city's noisy new business district. Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), its seven low-rise buildings—offices, screening facilities, a warehouse, and a residence for Marines—dot a 7.4-acre site in the burgeoning Pearl River New Town. Zaha Hadid's opera house lies catercorner to it, and Wilkinson Eyre's supertall IFC Guangzhou and KPF's soon-to-be-supertaller CTF Guangzhou are close by.
To attract the best and brightest faculty and students, universities today are asking architects for buildings that not only serve their academic goals but also bring prestige to their campuses through innovative design.
It is in the nature of tall buildings that rankings are short-lived, but at least for the moment, the 1,354-foot-tall, 77-story Al Hamra Firdous Tower, by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), is the tallest building in Kuwait City.