At least one of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill’s (SOM) recent projects garnered them instant notoriety for a unique design innovation for a unique client, Oakland’s Cathedral of Christ the Light, to be exact. SOM designed the cathedral as a modern monument to green buildings and a symbol of the community’s open faith. The secular building is a luminous combination of a vented wooden inner structure and an outer glass shell.

As an international firm with eight offices in five countries, SOM’s David Childs has been tasked with designing perhaps the most important building in modern history, the 1,776 foot One World Trade Center that is estimated to replace its ill-fated predecessor on the iconic New York City skyline by 2013.

The building presents numerous logistical and structural challenges, since the events of September 11, 2001 demand a structure that is technologically sound and impervious to damage from unnatural forces. The iconic structure will require concrete-reinforced beams with impact resistant layers and an exterior grill that provides a facial blast barrier and eliminates dynamic shift. Find them here.