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SOM Expands Its Chicago Management Team with Three New Design and Strategy Leaders

SOM welcomes new leaders Christopher Hall, James Mark, and Michael Byun (clockwise from top left). Photo © SOM

SOM is pleased to welcome three new leaders to its Chicago office. With extensive portfolios of projects both local and global, Christopher Hall, James Mark, and Michael Byun bring proven leadership to SOM’s interdisciplinary practice, reinforcing the firm's reputation for design excellence and dedication to client service.

Christopher Hall, Urban Strategy Leader
Hall returns to SOM within the firm’s globally recognized City Design Practice. His more than 25 years of experience in urban planning, infrastructure, and transit-oriented development in the United States, United Kingdom, and Ireland reaffirms SOM’s commitment to the implementation of transformative master planning and urban design projects in Chicago and around the world. Hall will draw on his expertise in downtown and neighborhood development, public housing redevelopment, brownfield regeneration, and economic investment and regional growth frameworks to advise clients and colleagues across SOM’s global practice on design, policy, and implementation.

A native of London, Hall previously served as an Associate Partner at SOM in Chicago and as a Director of GVA, a London-based real estate advisory and planning practice. Hall has led master plans and development frameworks in cities and regions around the globe, including in Chicago, where he shaped the vision for the 20-year Chicago Central Area Plan.

James Mark, AIA, Strategic Management Leader
Mark joins the Chicago office as Strategic Management Leader, expanding SOM's reach in Chicago and across North America. He brings deep knowledge of the Chicago and Midwest markets to SOM, and will work closely with organizations to assess their needs, articulate long-term goals, and develop strategies that respond to and anticipate capital projects. His holistic approach will position SOM as a resource for organizations as they seek advice and guidance on how to plan for future improvements. His extensive experience working with clients from the discovery stage through to occupancy will sustain SOM’s dedication to delivering innovative and enduring design solutions.

Mark joins SOM from Wight & Company, where he led large-scale civic development projects in Chicago and the surrounding region, including the SOM-designed Chicago Public Library, Chinatown Branch. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects, the U.S. Green Building Council, the Urban Land Institute, and is a LEED® Accredited Professional. In Chicago, he volunteers with the ACE Mentor Program, serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Chicago River, and as Board Chair of the Chinese American Service League. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Nevada.

Michael Byun, IIDA, Interior Design Leader
As Interior Design Leader, Byun will work closely with Jeannette Peruchini, also based in Chicago, to deepen SOM’s workplace design practice. An expert in the development and delivery of innovative and practical design solutions for industry-leading organizations, Byun’s portfolio includes a wide range of projects at all scales. His experience working across disciplines to realize complex projects bolsters SOM’s commitment to interdisciplinary interior design solutions.

Prior to joining SOM, Byun led interior design at the Chicago offices of bKL Architecture and Perkins+Will. Byun holds a Bachelor of Science in Design from the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Arizona State University. He is a Registered Interior Designer in Illinois, an NCIDQ Certificate holder, a LEED® Accredited Professional, and a member of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA).

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. Since its founding more than 80 years ago, SOM has earned a reputation for design excellence with a portfolio that includes some of the most important architectural accomplishments of the 20th and 21st centuries, and 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, Dubai, and Mumbai.