The high days of modernism.
Louis Skidmore (April 8, 1897 – September 27, 1962) was an American architect, co-founder of the architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM).
Skidmore and Nathaniel A. Owings co-founded the firm in 1936. John O. Merrill became the third partner in 1939. During the war years the firm built a number of large housing projects, most notably the initially secret town of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. In New York a major wartime project was the Abraham Lincoln Houses, a 14-building complex in Harlem.
Another major government-appointed project was the United States Air Force Academy. His firm developed its reputation for reliability in large developments, and became one of the largest and most talked-about skyscraper builders in the 1950’s.
Connecticut General Life Insurance Company Headquarters (1957)
The building was designed by Gordon Bunshaft, on a 110 ha campus, and was completed in 1957. According to the architecture firm, “The bucolic site, campus-like plan, and extensive amenities, reflected a desire to offer a highly civilized and satisfying office environment to Connecticut General employees. The building set new standards for flexible space planning, efficiency of operation, economy of construction methods, maintenance programs, and planning for future expansion.”
The project won various architectural and landscape awards. The grounds, including two of the interior courtyards, were landscaped by sculptor and landscape architect Isamu Noguchi. The interiors of the building were designed by Florence Knoll. The campus was the first of its type to be designed for a large corporate employer as office space, and was described by architect Michael Crosbie as an “inspiration for a generation of office parks’
About the Author:
Bruno Dursin – Managing Director at Believe in Steel. Bruno has more than 30 years of experience in promoting steel & steel solutions. His clients benefit from his extensive network within the building industry.