The May issue of ArchiCreation “Stereotomic Architecture: SOM’s Approach to Synthesis” celebrates the design methodology of SOM Design Partner Gary Haney, and examines four projects from his portfolio in intimate detail. The Chinese architecture magazine launched in 1989, and in recent years it has distinguished itself with single-subject issues that narrate an architect’s essential works from one unifying perspective.
The recently released 200-page volume surveys Haney’s Al Hamra Tower and U.S. Census Bureau Headquarters projects, completed respectively in Kuwait and the United States, as well as the proposed Al Rajhi Tower in Saudi Arabia and Doha Office Complex in Qatar. While they differ in typology and location, the four commissions represent Gottfried Semper’s definition of “stereotomic architecture” — the theme of this special issue.
Characterized by a monolithic appearance, this architectural classification is not often associated with the work of SOM, a firm known largely for its visually lightweight curtain-wall structures. ArchiCreation proposes that Haney’s and others’ stereotomic buildings embody an equally compelling, if less heralded, legacy.
In addition to the richly illustrated project descriptions, the compilation features a review written by the noted architecture critic James Russell, as well as the essay “The Stereotomic Architecture of SOM” co-authored by Haney. An extensive interview with Haney, which focuses on the culture of SOM and architects’ responsibilities to the built environment, is also included.