Three SOM Projects Honored by AIA International Region -

Today, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) received three Design Awards from the AIA International Region. The awards program, which is in its inaugural year, recognizes outstanding architectural design and honor the architects, clients and consultants who work together to achieve design excellence. In the Architecture category, the Burj Khalifa received an Honor Award, and The Park Hyderabad received a Merit Award. The Baietan Urban Design Master Plan received a Merit Award in the Urban Design category. Winners were recognized at an awards presentation and dinner in Hong Kong.

The Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest building, soaring 828 meters above Dubai. The 162-story tower contains offices, retail space, residential units, and a Giorgio Armani hotel. The overall design of the building was inspired by the geometries of a regional desert flower and the patterning systems embodied in Islamic architecture. Built of reinforced concrete and clad in glass, the building is composed of three elements arranged around a concrete core. High performance concrete walls are used for three wings that buttress one another via the building's hexagonal, central hub. These elements support the core against the wind. As it rises from a flat base, setbacks occur at each element in an upward spiraling pattern, reducing the tower’s mass as it reaches skyward. At the pinnacle, the central core emerges and is sculpted to form a spire.

The Park Hyderabad, a 531,550-square-foot hotel located in southern India, combines sustainable design strategies with local craft traditions. The building's form maximizes views and daylighting while minimizing solar heat gain. Its distinctive facade, made of perforated and embossed metal screens that shield a high-performance glazing system, provides privacy for guests of the 270-room hotel, but also allows light to enter the interior spaces. Although it affects an extraordinary sense of lightness, the facade also functions as effective acoustic insulation from trains passing nearby. The building’s three sides wrap a central, elevated courtyard with swimming and dining areas. Interiors utilize jewel tones throughout the lobby, retail, and lounge spaces in reference to the region’s reputation as a center of gemstone and textile production. The building achieved the first LEED® Gold certification for a hotel in India.