Cindy Allen -- Interior Design, 11/1/2006 12:00:00 AM
We've raised the flag this month and called all hands on deck to hail Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, one of the finest old admirals in our industry. And where finest is indisputable, as our pages will certainly attest, the adjective old applies strictly to SOM's 70 years on the logs, designing unique Buildings with a capital B. As far as attitude goes, the firm can only be described as brilliantly youthful. We already knew that SOM ran a tight ship, so we were taken aback, in the course of our research, by the sheer number of young talents rising through the ranks in recent years—and increasingly setting the course. Exploring the inner workings of this Interior Design Giant would surely amount to a priceless lesson for any aspiring leader of great endeavors.
The flagship of the fleet has long been Lever House, where the firm has continued to design interiors over the decades. Asia, of course, is the latest port of call. We take you not only to a hotel in the sky-high Lotte Tower in Seoul, South Korea, but also to the mixed-use Jianianhua Center, which serves as a giant billboard for the Chinese city of Chongqing on the banks of the Chang. (That's the river formerly known as Yangtze, in case you were wondering.) The center's name translates more or less as celebrating the good years. With the dozen projects you'll see here, SOM is clearly doing the same.
Ahoy from New York,