The Partners of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) are pleased to announce the election of Thomas Behr, Kent Jackson, and Douglas Voigt as Partners, effective October 1, 2016, in recognition of their outstanding accomplishments and contributions to the firm. Voigt becomes a Partner in SOM’s Chicago office, where he is currently based. Behr joins Jackson in the London office, where they assume their new roles.
SOM’s Executive Committee—comprised of Partners who provide leadership and strategic vision to the firm in consultation with other Partner committees—issued the following statement: “Thomas Behr, Kent Jackson, and Douglas Voigt are talented and renowned leaders who bring their broad expertise and portfolios to bolster an already strong partnership. We are confident that they will excel in their new roles and uphold SOM’s core ethos and values.”
The Partners are also pleased to announce that Chris McCready has been appointed to the newly created position of Executive Committee Strategic Officer. In this role, McCready will collaborate with the firm’s leadership to advance strategic and operational initiatives of the committee.
In addition, seven new SOM Directors have also been elected: Chris Cooper, Ame Engelhart, Eric Long, Olin McKenzie, Mark Schwettmann, Kristopher Takács, and Lucas Tryggestad. As design, engineering, management, technical, and urban planning experts, these new Directors together reflect the firm’s integrated design approach.
Thomas Behr, AIA, LEED® AP, Partner
After joining SOM in 2000 as an architectural designer, Thomas Behr assumed the position of project manager in 2004. During his time with the firm, Behr has worked on a diverse range of international projects including master plans, commercial buildings, mixed-use developments, educational, sports, and hospitality schemes in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. After predominantly working on European projects in his early years at SOM, Behr shifted his focus to the Middle East, where he oversees and coordinates the firm’s efforts in the region.
Kent Jackson, AIA, RIBA, Partner
With more than 20 years at SOM, Kent Jackson has worked on projects with a diverse range of scales and uses, including corporate and government offices, residential developments and large urban regeneration schemes. He has focused on developing creative and sustainable solutions that meet both aesthetic and pragmatic requirements, allowing buildings to positively impact the environment, while addressing the specific needs of inhabitants. Jackson is highly experienced at navigating complex planning approvals, zoning regulations and heritage challenges, and is a leading advocate of the firm’s pledge to meet the AIA 2030 Commitment towards a carbon-neutral built environment.
Douglas Voigt, AIA, AICP, Partner
Since joining SOM in 1995, Douglas Voigt has led complex urban design and architectural projects around the world, transforming comprehensive plans into built realities. As an architect and urban planner, Voigt works closely with civic leaders, institutions, and developers to realize integrated visions for cities at all scales. An advocate for intuitive city design, he balances conceptual thinking with a realistic, hands-on approach in order to achieve inclusive and sustainable solutions for urban living. At SOM, Voigt has developed an expertise in the design of healthcare and education campuses; large-scale urban plans; and vibrant mixed-use commercial, cultural, and residential districts.
Chris McCready, AIA, Executive Committee Strategic Officer
With more than 25 years at SOM, Chris McCready brings broad perspective of the firm and institutional knowledge to his new role. He reports directly to the Executive Committee and will advance committee initiatives with firm wide leaders. For his first assignment, McCready is leading a collaborative process with Partners, Directors, committees and task groups, staff members, and consultants to develop and implement operational and strategic plans for the SOM Practice Groups, which include disciplines, world regions, and functional markets. In his new role, McCready will leverage resources and talent across the firm and drive special projects initiated by the Executive Committee.
Chris Cooper, AIA, LEED® AP, Director, is a senior designer in the New York office, where he works on a wide variety of high-profile projects, especially in New York City. His work is characterized by tectonic rigor with close attention to materials in response to the intersection of livability, sustainability, and aesthetics. Cooper has significant experience on institutional, high-rise commercial office, mixed-use, and residential projects—ranging from 7 World Trade Center, the first new building to rise on the former footprint of the World Trade Center site, to 101 Warren Street, a transformative residential tower that integrates indoor and outdoor living in lower Manhattan.
Ame Engelhart, AIA, APA, AICP, Director, is a senior urban designer and project manager in the Hong Kong office who focuses on the design of cities, districts, and large, complex architectural projects. Based in Hong Kong since 1993, she has extensive experience in China and Southeast Asia. As the Director of SOM’s Hong Kong practice, Engelhart is responsible for steering the firm’s overall strategic objectives and growth of regional development in Asia, the Pacific, and Pearl River Delta markets. With her background in both architecture and urban planning, she brings together the design skills and ambitions of both disciplines to develop holistic plans for urban centers and communities.
Eric Long, PE, SE, LEED® AP, Director, is a senior structural engineer in the San Francisco office. Long works in close collaboration with entire design team, including architecture and MEP, to develop integrated ideas, advancing each project in a pursuit of design excellence. Long’s project experience includes the design of office, residential, and multi-use mid-rise and high-rise structures in addition to complex multi-building developments. Long has successfully incorporated innovative and technologically advanced structural applications into the design of these projects including seismic base-isolation, long-span cable structures, integrated glass curtain wall systems, and performance-based seismic design.
Olin McKenzie, AIA, Director, is a senior designer in the New York office who has focused on education projects, and more recently has designed some of SOM’s most dynamic and influential transportation projects. McKenzie’s experience in cities—specifically, the spaces and iconic buildings that contribute to the novelty and pleasure of urban living—strongly influence his designs. Some of his recent notable projects include All Aboard Florida, which comprises four inter-city passenger rail stations connecting key cities in Florida, and Philadelphia 30th Street Station District Plan, a major city-building initiative in a centrally important area of Philadelphia.
Mark Schwettmann, AIA, Director, is a senior designer in the San Francisco office. With a diverse range of international experience in major mixed-use, residential, corporate and academic projects, he is also deeply involved with improving the built environment of San Francisco. Schwettmann manages a group of 30 design professionals in addition to leading the Digital Design Group in San Francisco. He has extensive knowledge of the project approval process in the Bay Area, having guided many projects through complex public processes. In China, Schwettmann has been involved in significant large-scale projects, bringing environmental and social sensitivity to the forefront of his design approach.
Kristopher Takács, AIA, Director, is a senior project manager and urban designer who leads the firm’s Washington, D.C. practice. Takács brings more than 20 years of professional experience supporting a broad cross section of public institutions and authorities, private sector developers, and public-private partnerships. He is recognized for his leadership in delivering landmark buildings, innovative urban districts, city designs and regional plans whose success is built on design excellence, high-quality civic spaces, and highly integrated transportation systems.
Lucas Tryggestad, AIA, LEED® AP, Director, is a senior technical designer in the Chicago office. Tryggestad aligns project design concepts with technical solutions that are integral to the design process. His portfolio includes local and global projects, and he specializes in designing and realizing technically complex building systems. Interested in the craft of architecture, digital design, and quality project delivery, Tryggestad is involved in projects from conceptual development to execution. His hands-on, synergistic team approach leads to innovative projects that elevate design and technology standards, and demonstrates his strong commitment to SOM’s integrated approach to planning, architecture, and engineering.
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 nearly 2,000 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.