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Mark Sarkisian Writes Second Edition of Definitive Book on Tall Building Design

The Partners and Directors of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) are proud to announce that Routledge has published the second edition of Designing Tall Buildings: Structure as Architecture, written by SOM Structural and Seismic Engineering Partner Mark Sarkisian.

Originally published in 2012, Designing Tall Buildings began its genesis four years earlier at Stanford University. Following a joint lecture for the School of Engineering’s Architectural Design Program, Program Director Patti Walter invited Sarkisian and SOM Design Partner Brian Lee to create a tall building design course. The resulting “Integrated Design Studio” has since been taught at Stanford multiple times, as well as at the California College of the Arts, California Polytechnic State University, North Carolina State University, Northeastern University, Pratt Institute, and University of California, Berkeley.

While planning the class, Sarkisian, Lee, and Design Partner Leo Chow could not find an appropriate reference that covered the fundamental overlapping issues in structural engineering and architectural design, and decided to produce their own. With the support of the architects and structural engineers of SOM’s San Francisco office, as well as SOM’s Graphic Design + Branding Studio, Sarkisian developed a nine-chapter, 135-page, self-published book entitled Considering the Tower: Structure as Architecture for the Integrated Design Studio.

Built upon this foundation and enriched by Sarkisian’s decade of teaching experience, Designing Tall Buildings creates an essential, accessible reference guide that illustrates the fundamental principles of designing high-rise structures. The second edition features two new chapters, additional sections, 400 images, project examples, and updated U.S. and international codes. Each chapter focuses on a theme central to tall building design, giving a comprehensive overview of the related architecture and structural engineering concepts. Projects drawn from SOM’s 80-year portfolio of built towers demonstrate these concepts.

Sarkisian holds 14 U.S. and international patents for seismic structural mechanisms and environmentally responsible structural systems, and has designed more than 100 major building projects around the world, including the New United States Courthouse in Los Angeles (which opens later this year), Tianjin Global Financial Center in Tianjin, China, Al Hamra Tower in Kuwait City, Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai, and the NBC Tower in Chicago. An expert in the collaborative integration of architecture and structural engineering, advanced life-cycle engineering and other sustainability principles, the application of structural properties in nature to engineering, and seismic technology and designing for earthquake resilience, Sarkisian is frequently invited to teach and lecture at universities and colleges, present at industry conferences and symposiums, and publish in peer-reviewed journals.

A member of the Taylor & Francis Group, Routledge is the world’s leading academic publisher in the humanities and social sciences. Visit the publisher's website to purchase a copy of the book.

About Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) is one of the leading architecture, interior design, engineering, and urban planning firms in the world, with an 80-year reputation for design excellence and a portfolio that includes some of the most important architectural accomplishments of the 20th and 21st centuries. Since its inception, SOM has been a leader in the research and development of specialized technologies, new processes and innovative ideas, many of which have had a palpable and lasting impact on the design profession and the physical environment. The firm’s longstanding leadership in design and building technology has been honored with more than 1,700 awards for quality, innovation, and management. The American Institute of Architects has recognized SOM twice with its highest honor, the Architecture Firm Award—in 1962 and again in 1996. The firm maintains offices in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Mumbai, and Abu Dhabi.