Building Tall 

Thursday 20th September 2018

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) is one of the leading architecture, interior design, engineering, and urban planning firms in the world with a reputation for design excellence and a portfolio that includes some of the most important architectural accomplishments of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Founded in 1936, the firm has completed more than 10,000 projects across 50-plus countries, ranging from soaring towers such as the One World Trade Center in New York and Burj Khalifa in Dubai, to the masterplanning of entire business districts and new residential communities.

The London office of SOM was established in 1986 in response to the award winning commissions for both Canary Wharf and Broadgate developments. SOM delivered a number of key buildings within the two financial districts, including 12 office buildings at Canary Wharf and over 30 buildings in Broadgate and the surrounding City of London, one of which – 201 Bishopsgate and The Broadgate Tower – is home to our London studio.

Since its inception, SOM has been a leader in the research and development of specialised technologies, new processes and innovative ideas, many of which have had a palpable and lasting impact on the design profession and the physical environment. The firm is renowned for its iconic buildings and steadfast commitment to design excellence, innovation, and sustainability.

The American Institute of Architects has twice recognised SOM with its highest honor, ‘The Architecture Firm Award’ and also bestowed the prestigious 25-year Award on six buildings designed by the firm, mostly recently for London’s Exchange House in 2015. SOM has a team of 90 staff in London and a global workforce of 1,200 across 9 international offices.

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DMITRI JAJICH, CEng MIStructE SE PE  Director, Structural Engineering

Dmitri Jajich joined SOM in 2000, inititally working in the Chicago office and moving to London in 2012. He has worked on projects ranging in scale from the World’s Tallest Building to a single-storey residence. Working in partnership with SOM’s architectural teams and other architects and artists, Dmitri has delivered a series of projects characterised by elegantly integrated structural design, with an emphasis on clear, hierachical structural expression and carefully crafted details.

KARL MICALLEF  Structural Engineer

Karl Micallef joined the Structural Engineering group at SOM London in September 2015, where he is currently working on the United Nations Offices at Geneva project. Karl graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering and Architecture degree from the University of Malta in 2006, after which he worked with DeMicoli+Associates on various projects in Malta and Libya. He read an M.Sc. degree in earthquake engineering at Imperial College London and after working in the field for a year pursued to do a Ph.D. also at Imperial College. His research investigated the response of plated structures to blast loading and how use of high-performance steels and novel polymeric composite materials can be used to mitigate damage. Prior to joining SOM, he worked at Foster+Partners for 2 years. He is a chartered engineer and remains active in academia by assisting in monitoring student design projects at Imperial College London and delivering taught and design modules at the University of East London. 

This Design Dialogues talk is sponsored by The Planning Authority.