SOM Loses Top Architect to HOK

October 9, 2009

By C. J. Hughes

Carl Galioto, FAIA
Carl Galioto, FAIA
Photo courtesy HOK

In an eyebrow-raising move, a decades-long employee and partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) has jumped ship from its New York office for a rival firm.

In September, Carl Galioto, FAIA, joined HOK¹s New York office after 30 years with SOM, where he contributed to the design of One World Trade Center, 7 World Trade Center, and Terminal Four at John F. Kennedy International Airport. He also worked on the planned 5-million-square-foot mixed-use project called Manhattan West, on Ninth Avenue and 31st Street, which developer Brookfield Properties has postponed.

While at SOM, Galioto headed the firm¹s technical group and helped SOM become known as a leader in the development of building information modeling, or BIM.

Galioto has worked with various public agencies and was instrumental in the creation and implementation of a new building code in New York City. He also served on a task force convened by the National Institute of Building Sciences to draft recommendations for high-rise codes.

Galioto, 55, admits it¹s unusual for someone of his stature to relocate, which he says was by choice. But the new job, he says, has perks. Because HOK¹s 140-employee New York office is much smaller than SOM¹s, which reportedly had 320 employees as of August, Galioto can have a hand in a greater variety of projects.

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He may also boost the profile of HOK.  In New York, the firm is best known for its healthcare, science and technology, transportation, and corporate interiors work, Galioto says, adding that “it will be fun to get the word out” about the firm’s range of expertise.

HOK is happy to have him, as he can help ramp up the firm’s “buildingSMART” initiative, which seeks to improve project delivery through BIM, says Patrick MacLeamy, FAIA, HOK’s chief executive. “All these things that he has been working on and dreaming about,” MacLeamy says, “can be lived out with us.”

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