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Embassy Architects

David Childs

Mr. David Childs is the senior design partner and past chairman of the New York-based architectural firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. A graduate of Yale and the Yale School of Architecture, he spent the initial part of his career in the Washington, DC office of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and in 1981 received a presidential appointment as chairman of the National Capital Planning Commission. He moved to the firm's New York office in 1984 and was appointed SOM's first CEO in 1991.

Throughout his years of practice in Washington, Mr. Childs became noted for his design of "appropriate" architecture, buildings and spaces that respond to their settings and programs rather than pursue a preconceived architectural image. His projects in Washington include the master plan and landscape design for the Great Mall and Constitution Gardens, the National Geographic Society Headquarters, the U.S. News and World Report Headquarters, the Regent Hotel, the Evening Star Building renovation and addition, the new International Arrivals Building at Dulles International Airport, and numerous other public and private commissions.

In 1984, Mr. Childs moved to SOM's New York office, applying his philosophy of appropriateness to a diverse range of projects in New York City including Worldwide Plaza on Eighth Avenue, the master plan for Riverside South, One Broadway Place, a retail-and-office tower development at Times Square, 450 Lexington Avenue, an office tower above the historic Grand Central Post Office, and Columbus Center, a 2.6 million-square-foot complex at Columbus Circle on Central Park.

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

Founded in 1936, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP is one of the leading architecture, urban design and planning, engineering, and interior architecture firms in the United States. The firm's sophistication in building technology applications and commitment to design quality have resulted in a portfolio that features some of the most important architectural accomplishments of this century.

SOM is responsible for the design and construction of one of the world's tallest buildings, the 109-story Sears Tower in Chicago. SOM also designed Lever House, an office building in New York City which established a new vocabulary and set standards for office design around the world. Other signature projects include the U.S. Air Force Academy, the John Hancock Tower in Chicago, and the Bank of America World Headquarters in San Francisco. In addition to the New Embassy Office Building, recent projects include the redevelopment of Pennsylvania Station in New York, a new tower for the New York Stock Exchange, the Kuwait Police College, and a new terminal at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Since its founding, SOM has completed more than 10,000 architecture, interior architecture, and planning projects located in more than 50 countries around the world. The firm has received more than 700 awards, including the first Firm of the Year Award, awarded in 1961 by the American Institute of Architects for design excellence. Honored again in 1996, SOM is the first firm to win this award twice.