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SOM thing missing


Your news item in last week's NCE correctly attributes Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) as architect for the Burj Dubai tower, which will be the world's tallest building, but fails to acknowledge SOM as the structural and MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) engineer for the project.

SOM has a proud heritage of A&E practice, as it is known in the US. The contributions of architect and engineers working equally on a design concept has led to such projects as the bundled tube structure of Sears Tower and the exposed X-brace of John Hancock tower - both in Chicago.

In London, Exchange House at Broadgate is a good example of this approach, where an exposed arch allows an airrights building to straddle the railway lines at the entrance to Liverpool Street Station.

Promotion of a multidisciplinary practice has been at the core of SOM's practice right from its beginning in 1938. Full integration of architecture and engineering has characterised our work for the last 67 years.

Graham Wiseman (F), director of office operations, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, 1 Oliver's Yard London EC1Y 1HH

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