San Francisco: Last week, the Bakersfield City Council voted unanimously to hire Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) to develop the Downtown Bakersfield High-Speed Rail Station Area Plan. As part of the California High-Speed Rail System, which is slated to run from San Francisco to the Los Angeles basin by 2029, this effort will develop a vision for the downtown area around the proposed station site. SOM has planned and designed numerous complex transportation projects across the globe, including the expansion of Denver’s historic Union Station, the master plan for Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station Precinct, and three stations for the All Aboard Florida passenger train network.
Development of a new high-speed rail system will provide new transportation options within the Central Valley and will further connect Bakersfield to California’s mega regions and create new growth and economic opportunities. The goal of the Station Area Plan is to develop a sustainable urban design scenario that will integrate the station into the existing fabric of downtown Bakersfield, expand multimodal connectivity, and create an equitable economic development strategy. Staff in SOM’s Los Angeles office will facilitate dynamic public outreach, education, and engagement that will guide the 15-month planning process.
Illustrating SOM’s commitment to the Southern California region, the firm established a Los Angeles office four years ago. Led by Directors Michael Mann, Paul Danna, and José Luis Palacios, the office has quickly grown to more than 60 employees and will see its first projects reach completion over the next year, including the renovation of The Desmond and the New United States Courthouse, both in Downtown Los Angeles, and the Sunset La Cienega hotel and residential development in West Hollywood.
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 an almost 80-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.