AIA, NCARB, Managing Director
Adam Semel is highly experienced with navigating complex public agency approvals, zoning regulations, and community engagement processes. As a Director and project manager in SOM’s Chicago office, his strength lies in his ability to work collaboratively with institutional clients and complex constituencies to develop fresh and innovative ideas during the design and planning phases that lead to holistic project success. Consistent with SOM's design ethos and values, his work as an architect has always been geared toward providing inspirational, sustainable design solutions that not only solve the client's objectives, but also provide healthy, stimulating, functional environments for live, work, learn, and play.
Semel joined SOM New York in 2005, relocating to SOM Chicago in 2013. His focus has been to develop SOM’s work in Chicago and the region. With extensive experience in several practice areas, including K-12, higher education, residential, commercial, cultural, and urban design, the core functions of his role are to build consensus among diverse stakeholders, navigate the public agency and approvals processes, and work with the communities in which SOM practices.
Semel is passionate in his engagement with local communities, consistently seeking out opportunities for civic engagement and exchange. Leadership Greater Chicago named him a Class of 2016 Fellow to recognize his accomplishments and commitment to the city and its communities. In all of his work, both professional and civic, he strives to foster a highly collaborative design process that focuses on the potential to contribute to a more positive, sustainable, and inclusive public realm.