Leo Chow


Design Partner

San Francisco, Shanghai


Leo Chow has led a broad range of projects in the United States and Asia, including headquarters and commercial office buildings, residential and hotel towers, higher education facilities, and the planning of urban districts. His work demonstrates his passion for the collaborative integration of diverse disciplines, particularly structural engineering, building services, environmental engineering, and digital analysis to address complex functional and performance challenges to produce innovative works of architecture that are responsive to the client’s needs, sensitive to the creation of inspiring places, and carefully consider climate, local ecologies, and the social context.

This approach is evident in award-winning projects such as the Harvard University Northwest Science Building, Poly Corporation Headquarters, Poly International Plaza, St. Regis Hotel and Residences, and Parkmerced Vision Plan. Leo also led the development of SOM’s San Francisco Digital Analysis Model, which received an Architect Magazine R+D award. This model combines information traditionally found on maps and diagrams with the form of the city’s buildings and streets to serve as an invaluable analytical and visualization tool for the firm’s work.

Chow created the SOM Integrated Design Studio, which fully integrates structural engineers as co-instructors into an academic studio that focuses on tall building design. This studio has been taught at the University of California at Berkeley, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, the California College of Art, and Stanford University. He is currently on the Board of Directors for the San Francisco Heritage, as well as serves as Co-Chair of the SOM Foundation. He received his Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University and his Master of Architecture from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.

Selected Work