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SOM Signs Lease for New Office Space at 7 World Trade Center

Photo © David Sundberg | Esto

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM), the renowned architecture, engineering, interior design, and urban planning firm, has just announced that its New York office will move to 7 World Trade Center (7 WTC) in April 2020. The lease, which was signed Friday, May 3rd, will make SOM the first architecture firm to move into the World Trade Center.

The firm’s New York office has been located at 14 Wall Street since October 1998. SOM was the first architecture firm to move to the Financial District, a precedent that many other design firms have followed. The new office will upgrade SOM’s floor space with 80,000 square feet spread across two floors. The move into the tower—which was designed by SOM, developed by Silverstein Properties, and completed in 2006—reflects SOM’s goals as it transitions into the future, with a flexible, light-filled, and sustainable open floor plan.

“This move acknowledges that the way we work has changed,” said SOM Design Partner Chris Cooper, FAIA, who was the senior designer of 7 World Trade Center more than a decade ago. “As we welcome a new generation of leadership at SOM and look toward the future of the firm, we are excited to move into a new kind of workspace—one that is filled with daylight, offers sweeping views of New York City, and puts sustainability and flexibility at the forefront.”

As the first building erected on the World Trade Center site after September 11th, 2001, 7 WTC marked a new period of redevelopment and renewal in Lower Manhattan. The tower established a vision for the future of the district, influencing the aesthetic, transparency, and resiliency of the World Trade Center’s future towers and creating a new benchmark for sustainable design in New York City. On the ground, the tower’s stainless-steel-clad podium is internally illuminated by LED lights that shift in color from day to night. Above, its ultra-low iron glass curtain wall—covered with a next gen low-e coating to maximize transparency and daylight while reducing energy demand— mirrors the changing light of the sky. And through the use of recycled steel, irrigation systems, the ventilation of fresh air, and several additional sustainability features, the tower became the first LEED®-accredited commercial office building in New York City, with a Gold rating.

“7 World Trade Center has played a leading role in a new era of downtown development,” said SOM Managing Partner Kenneth A. Lewis, AIA, who served as project manager of the tower. “We are excited to move our New York office to an SOM-designed building that was a symbol of Lower Manhattan’s rebirth when it opened, and which has since had such a significant impact on the area and the city more broadly.”

“I am immensely proud of our collaboration with SOM on 7 World Trade Center,” said Larry Silverstein, Chairman of Silverstein Properties. “This building set a new standard for the 21st-century office environment, and jump-started the transformation of Downtown and the World Trade Center into a magnet for the world’s most innovative companies. SOM did a spectacular job designing this building, which feels as new and exciting as it did when we opened it 13 years ago. It gives me great pleasure to welcome them home.”

When SOM moves into 7 WTC in 2020, four of SOM’s major offices—in New York, London, San Francisco, and Los Angeles—will be located in SOM-designed buildings. All four of these offices will be WELL® and LEED® certified—a move that is part of SOM’s plan to create sustainable spaces for its colleagues, collaborators, and clients.

David Goldstein and Matthew Barlow of Savills represented SOM in the transaction. Silverstein Properties was represented by Executive Vice President Jeremy Moss.

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.

About Silverstein Properties

Silverstein Properties is a privately held, full-service real estate development, investment and management firm based in New York. Founded in 1957 by Chairman Larry Silverstein, the company has developed, owned and managed more than 40 million square feet of commercial, residential, retail and hotel space. Recent projects include 7 World Trade Center, the first LEED-certified office tower in New York City (2006), 4 World Trade Center (2013), the Four Seasons Downtown (2016), One West End (2017) and 3 World Trade Center (2018). The company has been recognized as one of the “Best Places to Work in New York City” by Crain’s New York Business for eight years in a row. For further information on Silverstein Properties, please visit or