Lafarge and National Building Museum to Spotlight Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Architects

Words: Bronzella Cleveland

Design principal Gary Haney, AIA, RIBA, will present the innovative design process behind SOM’s work, including the iconic Al Hamra Tower recently completed in Kuwait City.

Lafarge North America and the National Building Museum are pleased to announce that this year's fourth "Spotlight on Design" lecture will be held on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 with Gary Haney, design principal of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Architects (SOM).

SOM is a leading architectural, urban planning, engineering and interior design firm with a portfolio that includes some of the world's tallest buildings, including Chicago's Willis Tower, New York's One World Trade Center and Dubai's super-tall skyscraper Burj Khalifa. With a 75-year reputation for design excellence, SOM has been recognized with more than 1,400 awards for quality and innovation, including the Architecture Firm Award from the American Institute of Architects in 1962 and in 1996.

Spotlight on Design is an ongoing series that features architects and designers of distinction from around the world. Since its inception in 1997, the series has hosted many of the world's premier design voices in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning and design, including Pritzker Prize Laureates Tadao Ando, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, I. M. Pei, Glenn Murcutt and other acclaimed designers. Lafarge has been the corporate sponsor of Spotlight on Design since 2001.

Gary Haney, AIA, RIBA, holds a master of architecture degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a bachelor of environmental design degree from Miami University of Ohio. He has served as an advisory board member at Pratt Institute and Miami University Department of Architecture and Interior Design, as well as an architectural critic on juries at several U.S. universities. His extensive materials-research, performance-driven approach has enabled him to design buildings of great scale and complexity, including most recently the Al Rajhi Bank Headquarters in Saudi Arabia; the Al Hamra Tower in Kuwait; and the Al Sharq Tower in Dubai, which was honored with a Progressive Architecture award. He also has designed the LEED®-certified U.S. Census Bureau Headquarters in Maryland, which was recently awarded the merit award for architecture by AIA's New York chapter.

"Lafarge is proud to support discussions on urbanism, architecture and sustainable construction made possible by the National Building Museum's Spotlight on Design lecture series," said John Stull, president and CEO for Lafarge U.S. "With more than 10,000 projects completed around the world, SOM has been a leader in the research and development of specialized technologies, new processes and innovative ideas that strengthen urban areas and the larger regions in which they exist. From Lafarge's perspective, these types of collaborative dialogues and sharing of ideas connect directly to our ambitions of creating solutions for building better cities and a more sustainable future."

During his speaking engagement, Gary Haney will present the innovative design process behind some of SOM's projects, including the recently completed, 1,354-foot-tall Al Hamra Tower in Kuwait City (one of the world's tallest buildings). The lecture is scheduled for Tuesday, May 14, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the National Building Museum, 401 F Street NW, Washington, D.C. To attend the event, register online at go.nbm.org/spotlight.

During the past several years, more than 30,000 people have attended lectures through the Spotlight on Design series with audiences ranging from professionals, policymakers and students to the general public. The series also provides a great opportunity for design professionals to achieve continuing education training through the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Continuing Education System (CES). For those not local to Washington, D.C., the lecture series and interviews with individual architects dating back to 2006 can be accessed online by visiting the National Building Museum's website at www.nbm.org.

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