Adrian Smith

Chicago / United States

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Adrian  Smith 8
Adrian Smith
In 2006, he founded Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS+GG), a firm dedicated to the design of high-performance, energy-efficient and sustainable architecture on an international scale.

In 2008, he co-founded the MEP firm of PositivEnergy Practice, which specializes in the environmental engineering of high-performance, energy-efficient architecture. Before he started AS+GG, he was a Design Partner in the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill from 1980 to 2003 and a Consulting Design Partner from 2003 to 2006.

His work has shown an evolving interest in the use of vernacular and indigenous forms and compositions together with state-of-the-art systems and technologies to integrate new buildings Into the regional context. His designs are sensitive to each project's physical environment, taking into consideration conditions such as location, climate, geographical, geological, cultural, and social influences to achieve environmental sustainability. Over the last several years his work has embraced the principle of “On Site” power generation using the building’s design to harvest power from the sun, wind and geothermal conditions in order to reduce the buildings reliance on the local infrastructure. In many instances, this has had a dramatic impact on the expression of the Architecture and has added an important influence to his philosophy of Global Contextualism.

Throughout his career, Mr. Smith has played an active role in international projects and developments. From 1971 to 1973 he was the resident project architect for the Wills Hartcliffe project near Bristol, England. In 1989, he was selected to participate in the IV Hamburg Bauforum, to lead a team exploring alternative visions for the Speicherstadt district in Hamburg, Germany. In 1990 he participated in a team of 40 international architects and planners in the Zentrum: Berlin symposium, at the Bauhaus in Dessau, to discuss the challenges for the reunification of Berlin. He has also designed buildings in Bahrain, Brazil, China, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Canada, England, Germany, Guatemala, Indonesia, Korea, Kuwait, Mexico, the United States (Chicago, Boston, Des Moines, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Washington D.C., Orlando and New York City).

Mr. Smith was elected by the SOM Partnership to serve as the firm's Chief Executive Officer from 1992 to 1994. He also served as the Chairman for the SOM Foundation from 1990 to 1995; Trustee to the Chicago Architecture Foundation in 1992 and 1999; president of the Chicago Central Area Committee in 1997 and 1999; Board member of the State Street Council from 1995; and Governor on the Board of the School of Art Institute of Chicago from 2002.

National positions include Lifetime Governor of the Urban Land Institute Foundation and member of the Urban Land Institute (1986 to present). He has served on numerous professional juries and committees, including the Chicago Chapter AlA Fellows Committee and the National AlA Large Firm Roundtable. He was Chairman of the National AlA Jury on Institute Honors (1987); the Progressive Architecture Awards Design Jury (1988); the Jury Chairman of the Central States Region AlA Awards Program (1994); the 2000 Advisory Panel to the AlA Board of Directors for the Firm Award and Gold Medal Award recipients 2000); and Chairman of the AlA National Honor Awards for Architecture (2004).

He was keynote speaker at the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) Fifth World Congress (1995); CTBUH World Congress Dubai (2009); CTBUH World Congress Chicago (2011); CTBUH World Congress Shanghai (2012); the ABN Amro symposium (1990); the Ouaternario conference in Singapore (1991); and has lectured in Amsterdam, London, Buenos Aires, Prague, Frankfurt, Seoul, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Washington DC, Notre Dame, Chicago, New York, and other locations.

He was a Trustee of the Building Experiences Trust Limited, a British organization devoted to furthering architectural education curricula from 1995 to 1998; the Royal Institute of British Architects British Architectural Library Trust Representative for the British Schools and Universities Foundation from 1994 to present; and has appeared in several documentaries including the BBC World Service's film. Chicago Architecture, several episodes of Chicago Tonight; and the first two parts of the Skyline: Chicago film series.

Mr. Smith has been a registered architect in twelve states, the District of Columbia, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, and is also an active member of the College of Fellows of the AlA, the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Ontario Association of Architects and The Architectural Institute of British Columbia.

During his tenure as Design Partner, projects under his leadership and direction have received more than 125 design awards including 5 international awards, 9 National AlA awards, 35 state and Chicago AlA awards and 3 ULI Awards for Excellence (1989, 2005, 2008); and several Progressive Architecture Design Awards. His work has been exhibited at public museums in Chicago, Europe, South America, and Asia and ten of his projects are in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Adrian  Smith
Adrian Smith
Teams 1 teams

In 2006, he founded Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS+GG), a firm dedicated to the design of high-performance, energy-efficient and sustainable architecture on an international scale. In 2008, he co-founded the MEP firm of PositivEnergy Practice, which specializes in the environmental engineering of high-performance, energy-efficient architecture. Before he started AS+GG, he was a Design Partner in the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill from 1980 to 2003 and a Consulting Design Partner from 2003 to 2006. His work has shown an evolving interest in the use of vernacular and indigenous forms and compositions together with state-of-the-art systems and technologies to integrate new buildings Into the regional context. His designs are sensitive to each project's physical environment, taking into consideration conditions such as location, climate, geographical, geological, cultural, and social influences to achieve environmental sustainability. Over the last several years his work has embraced the principle of “On Site” power generation using the building’s design to harvest power from the sun, wind and geothermal conditions in order to reduce the buildings reliance on the local infrastructure. In many instances, this has had a dramatic impact on the expression of the Architecture and has added an important influence to his philosophy of Global Contextualism. Throughout his career, Mr. Smith has played an active role in international projects and developments. From 1971 to 1973 he was the resident project architect for the Wills Hartcliffe project near Bristol, England. In 1989, he was selected to participate in the IV Hamburg Bauforum, to lead a team exploring alternative visions for the Speicherstadt district in Hamburg, Germany. In 1990 he participated in a team of 40 international architects and planners in the Zentrum: Berlin symposium, at the Bauhaus in Dessau, to discuss the challenges for the reunification of Berlin. He has also designed buildings in Bahrain, Brazil, China, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Canada, England, Germany, Guatemala, Indonesia, Korea, Kuwait, Mexico, the United States (Chicago, Boston, Des Moines, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Washington D.C., Orlando and New York City). Mr. Smith was elected by the SOM Partnership to serve as the firm's Chief Executive Officer from 1992 to 1994. He also served as the Chairman for the SOM Foundation from 1990 to 1995; Trustee to the Chicago Architecture Foundation in 1992 and 1999; president of the Chicago Central Area Committee in 1997 and 1999; Board member of the State Street Council from 1995; and Governor on the Board of the School of Art Institute of Chicago from 2002. National positions include Lifetime Governor of the Urban Land Institute Foundation and member of the Urban Land Institute (1986 to present). He has served on numerous professional juries and committees, including the Chicago Chapter AlA Fellows Committee and the National AlA Large Firm Roundtable. He was Chairman of the National AlA Jury on Institute Honors (1987); the Progressive Architecture Awards Design Jury (1988); the Jury Chairman of the Central States Region AlA Awards Program (1994); the 2000 Advisory Panel to the AlA Board of Directors for the Firm Award and Gold Medal Award recipients 2000); and Chairman of the AlA National Honor Awards for Architecture (2004). He was keynote speaker at the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) Fifth World Congress (1995); CTBUH World Congress Dubai (2009); CTBUH World Congress Chicago (2011); CTBUH World Congress Shanghai (2012); the ABN Amro symposium (1990); the Ouaternario conference in Singapore (1991); and has lectured in Amsterdam, London, Buenos Aires, Prague, Frankfurt, Seoul, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Washington DC, Notre Dame, Chicago, New York, and other locations. He was a Trustee of the Building Experiences Trust Limited, a British organization devoted to furthering architectural education curricula from 1995 to 1998; the Royal Institute of British Architects British Architectural Library Trust Representative for the British Schools and Universities Foundation from 1994 to present; and has appeared in several documentaries including the BBC World Service's film. Chicago Architecture, several episodes of Chicago Tonight; and the first two parts of the Skyline: Chicago film series. Mr. Smith has been a registered architect in twelve states, the District of Columbia, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, and is also an active member of the College of Fellows of the AlA, the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Ontario Association of Architects and The Architectural Institute of British Columbia. During his tenure as Design Partner, projects under his leadership and direction have received more than 125 design awards including 5 international awards, 9 National AlA awards, 35 state and Chicago AlA awards and 3 ULI Awards for Excellence (1989, 2005, 2008); and several Progressive Architecture Design Awards. His work has been exhibited at public museums in Chicago, Europe, South America, and Asia and ten of his projects are in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.