June 26, 2013 SOM Technical Director, UT Alumnus Shares Work and Expertise

Keith Boswell, FAIA, graduated with his bachelor of architecture from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in 1980. He is now the technical director at the San Francisco office of Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM), one of the largest architecture firms in the world.

Through his career, Boswell has completed technically complex building systems around the globe, principally in Asia. His expertise includes museums, government projects, international and domestic airport terminals, and high-rise office buildings.

In a new book, Exterior Building Enclosures: Design Process and Composition for Innovative Facades, Boswell shares his research and work.

He also brings his depth of professional experience and knowledge to the college’s advisory board, where he serves as its chair. In this role, he voices trends in professional practice found in architecture and related disciplines. At a recent advisory meeting, he presented to UT students. Please see the video below, which highlights recent accomplishments that include:

  • The biggest cable-net wall in the world.
  • A new, 500,000 sq-ft U.S. embassy in China.
  • A 67-floor, prefabricated skyscraper.
  • Urban planning in San Francisco.
  • Structures ranging from innovative high-rises in China, complex university buildings, and profile courthouses and municipal buildings in California.
  • A lifelong obsession with material science realized – he has “finally found a way to get fused glass corners” that are “razor sharp.”

Among his accomplishments are the Beijing headquarters for Lenovo, China’s largest computer company, Poly Corporation Headquarters, The Poly Real Estate Headquarters in Guangzhou, and Ayala Tower One and Philippine Stock Exchange, both in Manila. These projects are explored in Exterior Building Enclosures. From Amazon:

This book addresses the design and execution of sophisticated exterior building enclosures for a number of commercial building types and in a variety of building materials. 

[It] covers all of the factors that affect the design of a building enclosure, including function, visual aesthetics, performance requirements, and many other criteria. 

In-depth case studies of projects of various scales, types, and climate conditions illustrate the successful implementation of exterior wall enclosure solutions in brick masonry, stone, architectural concrete, glass, and metals.

Images of Boswell’s work:

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