Skidmore Owings and Merrill-SOM

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Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM)
Firms Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM)
Notes See also Gordon Bunshaft, Bruce Graham, Walter Netsch-SOM, Myron Goldsmith-SOM.
At Great Buildings



Article at ArchitectureWeek


(Established Chicago 1936)

Louis Skidmore and Nathaniel Owings established an office in Chicago in 1936 and opened a branch in New York in 1937. The practice became Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM) in 1939 when John Merrill joined the partnership.

From the beginning, the firm stressed the importance of teamwork and individual responsibility among its employees. The firm's early years were spent creating a multi-disciplinary office which could effectively handle corporate and commercial clients.

In 1952, Lever House. This curtain-walled office block built in the International Style, demonstrated SOM's capabilities and led to a series of similar developments. Due to the large scale of the buildings designed by SOM, structural innovation makes up a large part of the office's design efforts.

Skidmore Owings & Merrill operates as a successful large practice, with offices in many cities, although none of its original principals remain with the firm. Some other notable designers associated with the firm during various periods include Walter Netsch.


Dennis Sharp. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Architects and Architecture. New York: Quatro Publishing, 1991. ISBN 0-8230-2539-X. NA40.I45. p142-143.

Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM)'s offices include the following:

see also: Skidmore Owings and Merrill-SOM


"AIA Honor Awards 2004", by ArchitectureWeek, ArchitectureWeek No. 181, 2003.0211, Chicago Central Area Plan, pN1.2.

"Bureau Assar and SOM win New NATO", by ArchitectureWeek, ArchitectureWeek No. 136, 2003.0226. pN1.1.

"AIA Honor Awards 2003", by ArchitectureWeek, ArchitectureWeek No. 132, 2003.0129. pN1.2.

"Architecture, Interiors, Urban Design - AIA Honor Awards 2002", by ArchitectureWeek, ArchitectureWeek No. 87, 2002.0220. pN1.4.

"Enduring Beauty at Weyerhaeuser Headquarters", by ArchitectureWeek, ArchitectureWeek No. 34, 2001.0117. pN2.1.

"Architecture for the Gods", by Michael Crosbie, ArchitectureWeek No. 31, 2000.1220. pD1.2.

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