Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) was founded in 1936 by Louis Skidmore and Nathaniel Owings. Partner John Merrill joined the Chicago architecture firm three years later. The firm grew quickly, opening offices in other cities, and by the 1950s employed over 1,000 people. As new architects were hired – many having graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) after studying under Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, dean of the school of architecture – the firm’s work influenced the widespread use of Mid-Century Modern design.
Celebrated today for innovative skyscrapers around the world, SOM’s architects and engineers can claim several of the world’s tallest buildings, including:
- One World Trade Center in New York (2014)
- Burj Khalifa in Dubai (2010)
- Trump Tower in Chicago (2009)
- Willis Tower in Chicago (1973)
- John Hancock Center in Chicago (1969)