SOM's JTI Headquarters, The Strand – American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.), and BBVA Bancomer Operations Center have been recognized as finalists in the Urban Land Institute's 2016 Global Awards for Excellence. Established in 1979, the program celebrates projects that uphold highest standards of design, based on criteria ranging from sustainability to community impact. These qualifications concern not only the designs themselves, but the full development process. The finalists are chosen by an international jury of professionals in the fields of finance, land use planning, design, public affairs, and development.
JTI Headquarters is the result of collaboration among SOM's architecture, interior design, and structural and civil engineering practices. Surrounded by parkland and built on a former industrial site, the building is located in a Geneva district that is home to prestigious international organizations. Ranking among the most sustainable buildings in Europe, its design consolidates four existing JTI premises within a single landmark building and demonstrates SOM’s commitment to integrated design, sustainability, and innovative workplace solutions.
The renovation of The Strand repurposes an abandoned century-old cinema into a performance space for A.C.T., San Francisco’s preeminent nonprofit theater company. It incorporates a proscenium theater, educational facilities, a black box theater and rehearsal space, and a public lobby and cafe. The project overlays modern architectural and theater elements on top of the raw backdrop of the original building. By opening the facade and lobby to the street, the design energizes the surrounding neighborhood, contributing to the regeneration of Central Market Street.
BBVA Bancomer Operations Center, located in the Parques Polanco district of Mexico City, further catalyzes residential and retail development in this formerly industrial area. Setting a new standard for commercial development in Mexico's capital, the building’s architectural character establishes a sense of scale and visual dynamism that enhances its pedestrian-friendly neighborhood. With energy- and water-saving features incorporated into its design, the project stands as a premier example of sustainable development.