Dubai, UAE: Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP (SOM) has been named Large Middle East Firm of the Year by Middle East Architect magazine. The award was bestowed Tuesday in a ceremony at The Westin Dubai. In addition to the firm’s overall win, SOM Partner William F. Baker won for Middle East Engineer of the Year and Sheikh Khalifa Medical City was acknowledged as Institutional Project of the Year.
Upon accepting the firm award, SOM Consulting Partner and 2011 Middle East Architect of the Year George J. Efstathiou noted, “For more than thirty years, SOM has created some of the Middle East’s most iconic structures. Beginning with the Hajj Terminal and extending through the modern era of the Burj Khalifa, Al Hamra and Infinity Towers, the firm has sought to express the beauty and sophistication of Middle Eastern culture through its intrepid design. We are deeply honored by this acknowledgement.”
Efstathiou also accepted the Middle East Engineer of the Year award on behalf of William F. Baker, SOM Partner in Charge of Structural ngineering. Baker led the firm’s engineering studio in developing the evolutionary “buttressed core” structural system used on the Burj Khalifa. He is also responsible for the structural engineering behind Dubai’s Infinity and Rolex Towers.
Citing the firm’s diverse portfolio, the awards jury acknowledged SOM’s “breadth of projects from skyscrapers to hospitals”, bestowing Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) with the award for Institutional Project of the Year. Located in Abu Dhabi, SKMC is a 2.5 million sf (232,000 sm) medical complex that will combine a General Hospital with a Level One Trauma center, tertiary Women’s Hospital and Pediatric Hospital.
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 a 75-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 1,500 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.