SOM, which worked on Dubai’s Burj Khalifa project, also says it plans to restart operations in India
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), the architecture firm behind iconic projects such as Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, says it is looking at entering Iran and plans to expand operations in Africa.
While North Africa is already part of the MENA region that it covers, executives from the firm told MEConstructionNews.com there is huge untapped potential elsewhere on the continent.
“I think we’re going to be taking a good look at Africa. The other one on our radar which is a big question mark is Iran, which is a country with a huge history and culture and probably has a huge need for good architecture,” says Uwe Nienstedt, senior regional manager for the MENA region at SOM.
George Efstathiou, consulting partner at SOM, adds: “We’re starting to branch out into Morocco a little bit more right now, and I think Iran is certainly one that we’re going to keep an eye on. I think Africa is untapped work for us.”
The Chicago-headquartered firm already has a presence in Europe, other cities in the United States, China and Abu Dhabi.
SOM also has plans for the Indian market, where it says it will revive its operations after a temporary halt.
“We had a small office in India but we withdrew because there was a bit of a downturn in work there and it wasn’t making sense for us but now there are certain new reforms being put in place that is making it easier to do work so I think you’ll see in the next six months a stronger commitment,” Efstathiou noted.
SOM has already worked on a number of projects on the Indian subcontinent and is currently working on the structural engineering of Terminal 2 at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai.