SPLAM and Urban Sequoia Make Fast Company’s List of World Changing Ideas

SOM is excited to share that two projects, the SPLAM Timber Pavilion and Urban Sequoia, were included in Fast Company’s 2022 list of World Changing Ideas. The two research projects take an innovative approach to engineering sustainable buildings, and among the firms recognized in this year’s award program, SOM was the only architecture firm to be listed twice.

The program honors clean technology, innovative corporate initiatives, brave new designs for cities and buildings, and other creative works that are supporting the growth of positive social innovation, tackling social inequality, climate change, and public health crises.

SPLAM Timber Pavilion is a full-scale prototype of a single-story structural framing system that makes use of shorter 2x4s that interlock to create an optimized dimensional layout. This efficient new model for design and construction can be infinitely modified to suit the structural demands of a building’s form or functional needs, becoming denser where the lattice needs to accommodate heavier loads, and more sparse in non-load-bearing areas.

Urban Sequoia is SOM’s concept for buildings and their urban context to act like trees and absorb carbon. Taking inspiration from the natural processes and ecosystems of Giant Sequoia forests, it is an idea that could have a far-reaching impact, with the potential to create a circular, carbon-removal economy.