Leo Chow and Mark Sarkisian 

Structure is Architecture

3PM PST Friday, February 10, 2023

Business Rotunda (03-213)


Both Leo and Mark are partners at SOM / San Francisco Office, and have collaborated since 1999, notable collaborative projects include: St. Regis, Harvard Northwest Science, 350 Mission, Poly HQ & Poly International Plaza, Lingang Landmark (Shanghai), Jiuzhou Bay, China Overseas Chengdu Tower (670m) And China Overseas Suzhou (470m) Tower. 

This collaborative work at SOM demonstrates a passion for the integration of diverse disciplines, particularly structural engineering, building services, environmental engineering, and digital analysis to address complex functional and performance challenges to produce innovative works of architecture that are responsive to the client's needs, sensitive to the creation of inspiring places, and carefully consider climate, local ecologies, and the social context. The same collaborative passion applied in practice, Leo and Mark created a SOM Integrated Design Studio in 2015, which fully integrates structural engineers as co-instructors into an academic studio that focuses on tall building design. Even with their hyper busy schedules, this studio has been taught at the University of California at Berkeley, the California College of Art, Stanford University, and Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo (taught twice and currently planning a third one). Thanks to SOM’s work with Cal Poly over the years, third year architecture faculty are currently Prototyping a Consultancy Design Studio Model for Advanced Structural Integration in Architecture. 

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