AIA, Design Director
Architect Eric Keune is a design director in SOM's Chicago office. Trained as an architectural historian, author, and artist, Keune is student and teacher of Modernism. His design work is guided by three principles: the integration of architecture and landscape, advancing the science of tall buildings, and exploring the dialogue between structural and programmatic expression. Working in the Modernist idiom, he focuses on craft and excellence in making, and his work addresses the context of contemporary visual arts and 21st-century building technology.
Keune joined SOM’s San Francisco office in 1998 and relocated to Chicago 10 years later. He leads projects across local and global scales and his recent work includes a new state-of-the-art training center for Swiss Pharmaceutical Company Roche Diagnostics in Indianapolis, Indiana, and a 12-building campus for Roche in Suzhou, China. His 288-meter-tall mixed use tower in Beijing, China World Trade Center 3B, opened in 2017.
Keune has led two projects for the U.S. Department of State: an embassy in Beijing and a consulate in Guangzhou. As part of a State Department mandate to showcase contemporary American Art in overseas diplomatic missions, Keune worked closely with the Department of State to feature work by artists Ellsworth Kelly, Jeff Koons, Russell Crotty, Maya Lin, and Martin Puryear, many of which were created specifically for their unique locations. In the United States, Keune led the design of the North American headquarters for Kia Motors in Irvine, California, and the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland.
Keune's work has been published nationally and internationally, and he is the recipient of more than 40 design awards, including a 2017 Architizer A+ Award for SOM’s proposed reuse of Bertrand Goldberg’s Elgin Laundry Building. His design for the Jinling Tower in Nanjing was exhibited at the 2006 Venice Biennale, and a selection of his work was featured in the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial. Keune has taught design studios at the University of Tennessee, California College of Arts, Northwestern University, and IIT, where he is an adjunct faculty member. He is the author of Paffard Keating-Clay: Modern Architect(ure)/Modern Master(s) (2006); and he curated a travelling exhibition of the same title. His most recent book, 100 Buildings (2017), was co-authored by Thom Mayne and Val Warke.