Emily Mottolese


Managing Principal - Middle East / Interiors Practice Leader

New York


Emily Mottolese runs SOM’s Middle East practice and co-leads the interior design studio. Early in her career, she gained experience working as an architectural designer on numerous international projects, including government headquarters, commercial developments, and luxury residences, and then transitioned to project management.

At the outset of her career at SOM, Emily recognized that practicing architecture in the Middle East would give her the opportunity to realize her passion—to build cities from scratch, create skylines where few existed, and transform the urban landscape through the marriage of ancient cultural heritage and modern architectural technology. Her diverse portfolio in the region includes complex large-scale mixed-use projects, as well as hospitality, residential, education, commercial office, cultural, civic, infrastructure, sports facilities, and interiors.

Every day at SOM is different. Whether we’re designing an airport, a hospital, a tower, or a university, all our work is united by a drive to push the envelope—to find a way to improve life in a city, to connect disparate communities, and to make the world a more sustainable place.

In 2021, Emily’s success managing projects in the Middle East led to her first role with SOM’s interiors group, when she began to oversee the practice in the New York studio. Developing a passion for the impact that interior design can have on the sustainability of the built environment, Emily was elevated in 2022 to co-leader of the interior design studio—for which she supervises the strategic vision and day-to-day management of SOM’s interiors projects.

Selected Work