Awards, Press Releases

Two SOM Projects Receive 2016 United States General Services Administration Design Awards

Today, the United States General Services Administration (GSA) announced two projects designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) as winners of 2016 GSA Design Awards. The New United States Courthouse – Los Angeles received an Honor Award in the On-The-Boards category, celebrating the best of unbuilt GSA projects, and the Social Security Administration National Support Center received an Honor Award for Engineering.

Held on a biennial basis, the GSA Design Awards are the highest honor for design conferred by the United States government. Under the umbrella of the GSA-led Design Excellence program, the awards celebrate the best of federal architecture at all scales. The Design Excellence program advocates for quality in the federal built environment, establishing nationwide policies and procedures for selecting the finest and most appropriate architects and integrated design teams for GSA commissions.

SOM’s two winning projects collectively serve tens of millions of Americans annually, each meeting the needs of the General Services Administration and its constituents.

About the New United States Courthouse – Los Angeles

The New United States Courthouse – Los Angeles, driven by practical concerns and rooted in principles of Design Excellence, is a dignified public building contemporary in spirit and timeless by design. The structure utilizes an innovative concept that “floats” the cubic volume of the courthouse over a civic open space, while responding to seismic and other performance requirements. The LEED® Platinum-certified building features a serrated façade that maximizes views while reducing solar heat gain by nearly 50 percent. By working in an integrated manner, the design-build team optimized each building system to promote efficient use, operations and maintenance and deliver a building of the highest level of value.

“Jurors particularly admired the relationship between the courthouse’s form and its important location near the Civic Center and Financial District,” said the GSA.

Completed in August 2016, the New United States Courthouse – Los Angeles is a model for the design and construction of facilities of its kind and a defining building for the city.

A design-build project, the New United States Courthouse – Los Angeles was designed by SOM in collaboration with Clark Construction Group, Syska Hennessey Group, South Coast Engineering Group, AECOM, Mia Lehrer + Associates, PSOMAS, Applied Research Associates, Jensen Hughes, HLB Lighting Design, Lerch Bates, Newson Brown Accoustics, Page/Dyal Branding & Graphics, Cini-Little International, AA Architecture Interior Planning, Giovannin D’Angiolo, Allegion, PLC, and Haley & Aldrich.

About the Social Security Administration National Support Center

Each month, the Social Security Administration (SSA) serves nearly 60 million Americans, delivering benefits to people of all ages and backgrounds. To support this essential function in the future, the SSA needed a new home for its primary data center. The LEED® Gold–certified National Support Center, set on 63 acres outside Washington D.C., met this need, achieving stringent sustainability and security criteria with a refined, enduring design. Constructed of glass, aluminum, and precast concrete, an elegant two-story office building provides a welcoming environment for visitors and staff along with comfortable office and meeting facilities. The result—a cost-effective, energy-saving facility—provides a secure home for data operations that enables the SSA to continue to deliver on its promises to current and future generations of beneficiaries.

“For balancing maximum performance with aesthetic expression and workplace productivity, jurors applauded the winning team for establishing a new benchmark of excellence for data centers generally,” said the GSA.

The Social Security Administration National Support Center was realized through a collaborative design-build process. SOM worked in conjunction with Hensel Phelps Construction Co., Corgan Associates Inc., M.C. Dean, Timmons Group, Thornton Tomasetti, Southland Industries, KTA, Geoconcepts, Rolf Jensen & Associates, Inc., and Applied Research Associates, Inc.

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 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 nearly 2,000 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.