San Francisco: Five SOM projects are the recipients of the 2014 SPARK Awards. Finalists were honored with a bronze, silver, or gold ranking in their respective categories. The awarded projects reflect Spark's mission: to encourage, support, and publicize transformative designs that help our world and society.
The winning SOM projects are Poly Corporation Headquarters and Davies, Ward, Phillips & Vineberg LLP, both of which received Silver Awards in the Spaces Design category; the LAX Pedestrian Bridge, which won a Gold Award in the Transport Design category; and the SOM rebranding and website, which won Silver Awards in the Graphic Design and Screen Design categories.
Poly Corporation Headquarters is a striking building that represents the seamless integration of architecture and engineering. This integration is expressed strongly in the dramatic cable-net glass wall, revealing the heart of the building. The expansive transparent wall creates a heightened sense of connection between the employees in the offices, the atrium, and the city.
Davies, Ward, Phillips & Vineberg LLP is a timeless, loft-like space for a prominent law firm. The office is located within Toronto's RBC Centre, and SOM's design celebrates the existing structure by treating the exposed concrete beams and ceilings in a sculptural fashion. At the same time, the design underscores the professional nature of the law firm through the development of refined multipurpose spaces and cellular offices.
The LAX Pedestrian Bridge replaces seven existing bridges and connects parking garages to the airline terminals. The design of the modular, open-air prototype implements resilient materiality, sustainable practices, topology optimization, and visual clarity. It reinforces the newly defined airport design guidelines, which mandate excellence of a quantitative and qualitative nature.
The SOM rebranding was a comprehensive effort to reflect the simplicity, clarity, and structural expression of the firm’s architecture, as well as the caliber of the firm's work. New, global communication tools were created, along with standards and guidelines for the production of all SOM collateral. The rebranding is perhaps most visibly expressed through the firm's new logo and its website.
The SOM website, relaunched in February 2014, reinforces the firm’s brand identity and conveys its proven track record as one of the world’s preeminent architecture firms through its emphasis on easy navigation, impactful imagery, and strong point of view. SOM’s Firmwide Communications team conceived the website in collaboration with the New York-based graphic design firm, For Office Use Only.
An exhibition featuring all the winning projects will be on view in San Francisco and the International Industrial Design Fair in Shenzhen, China, next year. The full list of the winners is available on the Spark Awards website.
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 1,700 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.