SOM New York Office

SOM New York Office Forum
  • Client Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
  • Expertise Workplace
  • Region North America
  • Location New York, New York, United States

Our new office in 7 World Trade Center showcases our focus on healthy, low-carbon workplace design. Through an approach of “radical reduction,” we have prioritized sustainability and well-being through a responsible approach to materials and resources.

Project Facts
  • Status Construction Complete
  • Size Number of Stories: 2 Building Gross Area: 78,568 square feet
  • Awards
    2022, Finalist: Wellness/Sustainable, International Contemporary Furniture Fair 2022, Honoree: Medium Office, NYCxDESIGN 2022, Structural Engineering Excellence (SEE) Awards, SEAoNY 2022, Best of Year Award: Firm's Own Office, Interior Design Magazine 2022, Editors' Choice: Interiors-Workplace, The Architect's Newspaper 2022, Best of Design Awards, The Architect's Newspaper
  • Sustainability Certifications
    WELL Undetermined Gold, Undetermined, Gold LEED ID+C Gold, ID+C, Gold
  • Collaborators
    Cerami & Associates TAD Associates JB&B Atelier Ten Tillotson Design Associates Som Structures
Project Facts
  • Status Construction Complete
  • Size Number of Stories: 2 Building Gross Area: 78,568 square feet
  • Awards
    2022, Finalist: Wellness/Sustainable, International Contemporary Furniture Fair 2022, Honoree: Medium Office, NYCxDESIGN 2022, Structural Engineering Excellence (SEE) Awards, SEAoNY 2022, Best of Year Award: Firm's Own Office, Interior Design Magazine 2022, Editors' Choice: Interiors-Workplace, The Architect's Newspaper 2022, Best of Design Awards, The Architect's Newspaper
  • Sustainability Certifications
    WELL Undetermined Gold, Undetermined, Gold LEED ID+C Gold, ID+C, Gold
  • Collaborators
    Cerami & Associates TAD Associates JB&B Atelier Ten Tillotson Design Associates Som Structures

Shaping workplace culture through design

For decades, SOM has designed cutting-edge workplaces with the conviction that architecture has the power to shape an organization’s culture. For our own office in New York City, we took the opportunity to demonstrate what a forward-looking workplace can be. Spanning two interconnected floors at the SOM-designed 7 World Trade Center, our 80,000-square-foot office fosters collaboration and community.

A wide opening at the center of two floors creates the “forum”—a dynamic space for gatherings and events. The floors are connected by a timber stair that leads directly into a shared cafe and lounge, as well as amenities for meditation, prayer, and breaks. Work areas are organized around collaboration zones, embodying the principles of openness, mobility, and teamwork.

SOM New York Office Forum
Dave Burk © SOM

A sustainable and healthy workplace

The design prioritizes sustainability and wellbeing through a responsible approach to materials and resources. The signature stair, built of cross-laminated timber, demonstrates our design philosophy of radical reduction—an efficient and economical use of healthy materials, with no extraneous finishes. The floor throughout the open studio utilizes the building’s existing concrete slabs, for example, to eliminate the need for an additional finish material. 

 

Dave Burk © SOM
Dave Burk © SOM
Dave Burk © SOM

With a focus on material science, SOM created a rigorous set of criteria for selecting a sustainable material palette. We selected carbon-absorbing materials such as cork and white oak for the interior finishes. The renewable materials provide a softness and warmth throughout the space, while also contributing to the office’s healthy air quality: 7 World Trade Center provides some of the cleanest indoor air in the city through a series of high-efficiency particulate air filters.

We implemented a design philosophy we refer to as ‘radical reduction.’ The result is a piece of industrial design unto itself: an expansive, flexible space characterized by healthy materials, a responsible use of resources, and a focus on sustainability and wellbeing.

Harmony in lighting and acoustics

The design team implemented an innovative lighting strategy to complement the floor-to-ceiling glass curtain wall. Although the studio relies heavily on natural light, we employed a dynamic lighting and motorized shade system that constantly adjusts itself based on the sun’s position, the time of day, and occupancy patterns. This strategy only uses about half a watt per square foot of energy, which is a 50 percent reduction from the average energy use of most offices. The system maximizes natural light and minimizes artificial lighting requirements.

 

Dave Burk © SOM

To reduce the noise in open areas, a fabric-wrapped acoustic panel ceiling absorbs sound across the entire open studio space. What’s more, we upcycled the existing carpeting on each floor for reuse as wall insulation.

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