Seven Visionary Leaders to Support SOM’s Global Growth and Innovation

Congratulations to our new Directors (clockwise from top left): Preetam Biswas, Meredith Bostwick Lorenzo-Eiroa, Lonny Israel, Benton Johnson, Aaron Mazeika, Joyce Lam, and Keith O'Connor. Image © SOM

The Partners of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) are pleased to announce the appointment of the following individuals as Directors, effective October 1, 2019: Preetam Biswas, Meredith Bostwick-Lorenzo Eiroa, Lonny Israel, Benton Johnson, Joyce Lam, Aaron Mazeika, and Keith O'Connor. As design and management experts, all new directors are renowned and talented leaders in their respective fields. With experience that spans every discipline and building typology, their broad expertise reinforces and expands the reach of SOM’s global, collaborative practice.

Preetam Biswas, Director of Structural Engineering
Preetam Biswas has played a key role in establishing the Structural Engineering group in SOM's New York office, managing new talent acquisition and introducing innovative strategies for growth. Within the SOM firmwide Structures Practice, his accomplishments include the initiation of new services as part of an integrated project delivery method for the construction phase. Biswas excels at designing innovative yet simple and constructible structural systems for tall and supertall towers, as well as for large and small scale structures with complex geometries. His portfolio includes a range of U.S. and international projects. His work on long-span structures such as airports, convention centers, and stadiums, in addition to that on specialty structures such as cable wall systems, has been recognized with several awards and honorary programs. The Chair of ASCE’s Task Committee for Design and Performance of Tall Buildings for Wind, Biswas is also a member in many notable industry organizations.

Meredith Bostwick-Lorenzo EiroaAIA, LEED® AP, Managing Director
Meredith Bostwick-Lorenzo Eiroa is the firmwide practice coordinator for SOM’s Higher Education Practice. She is dedicated to creating high-quality learning and research environments by working collaboratively with all stakeholders to build consensus around a shared project vision. As an academic planner and project manager, she has worked on a diverse range of projects including academic programming, campus framework and master plans, and new building, conservation, and renovation plans. Her projects include Barnard College’s The Milstein Center, Wellesley College’s Science Center Renovation and New Addition, and Cornell Tech’s Framework Plan and Campus Site Development at Roosevelt Island.

Lonny IsraelDirector, Environmental Graphic Design and Branding
As head of the SOM Environmental Graphics and Branding Studio, Lonny Israel has spearheaded a broad range of graphics-based projects that encompass architecture, interiors, and urban design. His work reflects the interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of SOM, as well as his in-depth understanding of client needs. Israel has envisioned and directed award-winning projects for such clients as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Oakland Museum of California; San Francisco International Airport – International Terminal; the New United States Courthouse in Los Angeles; the United States Embassy in Beijing; and the Jianianhua Center in Chongqing, China. The scale and complexity of his work has been recognized in the industry, as has his ability to expand the potential of graphic design to influence and shape the built environment.

Benton JohnsonDirector of Structural Engineering
Benton Johnson brings new approaches to structural engineering and sustainable design at SOM through research initiatives and industry partnerships. He leads SOM’s Timber Tower Research Project, a multi-year initiative involving full-scale structural, fire, and acoustic testing programs of mass-timber systems. Through collaborations with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, he has also emerged as a leader in 3D-printed buildings. Johnson's innovative approach to structural engineering results in efficient and sustainable solutions that are applicable to a wide variety of building types. Johnson’s portfolio includes a range of domestic and international projects, from supertall buildings, mixed-use developments, and commercial offices, to convention centers, healthcare facilities, and demonstration buildings. Notable work includes 100 Mount Street in Sydney, Australia; Nanchang Greenland Exhibition Center in Nanchang, China; and the Billie Jean King Main Library in Long Beach, California. 

Joyce Lam, Managing Director
As Managing Director in SOM’s Hong Kong office, Joyce Lam brings more than 18 years of experience working on commercial, hospitality, residential, and mixed-use projects. Exemplifying SOM's collaborative and interdisciplinary approach, Lam works directly with designers, technical leaders, and engineers to envision and deliver innovative design solutions. With demonstrated success in Hong Kong, Southeast Asia, and the United States, Lam specializes in managing complex projects across China, from skyscrapers to mixed-use developments. Among her notable projects are the Star River Tower in Guangzhou, the ASEAN Tower in Nanning, and the WeBank Headquarters in Shenzhen.

Aaron MazeikaDirector of Structural Engineering
Licensed in both engineering and architecture, Aaron Mazeika aims to bring the architectural aspirations of projects to life through the carefully considered integration of innovative and efficient structural systems. With a diverse background that includes post-graduate experience teaching in China, Mazeika has led SOM’s structural practice in implementing innovative structural systems and successfully expanding the group's presence in the China market. He has overseen the structural design of more than 30 high-rise towers in China, including the New Poly Plaza in Beijing, which features the world’s largest cable-net supported glass facade and an award-winning seismic isolation mechanism known as the Rocker. Outside the China market, Mazeika has led the structural design of the Al Hamra Tower in Kuwait City—one of the Middle East’s major landmark projects—and 800 West Fulton Market, a new office building in Chicago featuring a structurally expressed optimal bracing system.

Keith O'Connor, AICP, Director of Urban Design and Planning
Keith O’Connor brings more than 20 years of diverse public, private, and nonprofit experience leading complex multidisciplinary planning and urban design projects. As the Director of SOM’s East Coast City Design Practice in New York and Washington, D.C., he focuses on research and projects that elevate the public realm. His current projects include transforming a 22-acre post-industrial strip mall in suburban Boston into a vibrant mixed-use development, developing a strategic urban design framework for five key sites in Manhattan's South Street Seaport Historic District, and serving as a Civic Partner for the Tidal Basin IDEAS LAB on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

About Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) is an influential collective of architects, designers, engineers and planners, responsible for some of the world’s most technically and environmentally advanced buildings, and significant public spaces. From a strategic regional plan to a single piece of furniture, SOM's designs anticipate change in the way we live, work and communicate, and have brought lasting value to communities around the world. The firm's approach is highly collaborative, and its interdisciplinary team is engaged on a wide range of international projects, with creative studios based across the globe.