The Architect’s Newspaper (AN) Best of Design Awards 2022 celebrates outstanding built and unbuilt architecture projects worldwide. After receiving more than twice as many submissions as last year, AN selected the Permanent Mission of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the United Nations for an honorable mention in the Institutional Interiors category. Additionally, SOM’s New York Studio was an “editor’s pick” for Interior Workplace category.
A diplomatic building in the heart of Manhattan, the UAE Mission is designed around the values of Middle Eastern hospitality and international engagement–all while harmonizing with the historic architecture of New York City. The layout of each floor is inspired by the principle of the courtyard, a central reception and gathering space that is accessible from the main entrance or elevator lobby, depending on the floor. These central spaces choreograph the visitor’s progression through the building, and are designed with natural materials that create the essence that both the architecture and the finish are one and the same.
For our new studio in New York City, we took the opportunity to holistically integrate our principles of openness, mobility, sustainability, and wellness into the design. The workplace, located across two floors of SOM-designed 7 World Trade Center, demonstrates our design philosophy of “radical reduction”–paring back materials and finishes to minimize carbon impact.