The American Architectural Firm Skidmore

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Introduction- Formed in 1936, the American architectural firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) is one of the most successful and innovate firms to focus on high-end commercial building and lead the paradigm of the use of the modern international, or "glass box" style of skyscraper. Since its inception, the firm has designed and built several of the world's largest buildings including the John Hancock Center (1969), the Sears Tower (1973) and the Burj Khalifa (2010), currently the world's tallest building. The company has diversified and evolved and now offers services in Architecture, Building Services, Graphics, Digital and Interior Design, Structural and Civil Engineering, and most recently, Sustainable Design and Urban Planning (Adams). For many, in fact, SOM's postwar buildings are the essential building blocks to understand the modern movement in the United States. Biography- SOM was founded by Louis Skidmore (1897-1962), Nathaniel Owings (1903-1984), and John Merrill (1896-1975). Merrill was the structural engineer of the group, while Skidmore was the architect, and Owings the visionary. Owings was known as the catalyst, "the person in the firm who ironed out differences among clients, contractors and the planning commission" (Barron). The strength of the three was that they had the vision to move beyond the standards of their time, to imagine a way to bring beauty and structural integrity to the needs of the modern urban environment, and to understand how to

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