SOMA is an international architecture firm headquartered in New York, with offices in Lebanon, founded in 2004 by Michel Abboud. With its focus on incorporating craft, digital technologies and environmental responsibility, the firm’s designs and work have attracted critical acclaim for their boundary pushing nature. SOMA’s work is rising around the world today – in New York, Dubai, Erbil, Jeddah, Doha, Lebanon and other international markets -- with remarkable offerings of luxury residential, hospitality, condominium and mixed-use developments that underscore the firm’s cutting edge appeal.
SOMA works closely with clients to understand their needs and desires in relationship to external constraints in today’s ever changing cycle of occupancy and uses of buildings, providing adaptable planning so buildings evolve with their clients. Rather than imposing a ‘parti’ onto a given site, SOMA tends to deploy patterns which seemingly self-organize and grow with the site and its intended and un-intended future uses. Innovative projects like Park51 in New York City stand testament to SOMA’s design philosophy. It is the ability to work in the virtual space of organizational tools, while deploying concrete structures and materials that places SOMA at the cutting edge of architectural practice.
Michel Abboud is renowned in the United States and the Middle East for his avant-garde portfolio, the Park 51 Islamic Cultural Center a few blocks from Ground Zero in New York City further catapulted Michel into prominence, with one journalist dubbing him “the most controversial architect the US has known.” Such notoriety has led to a subsequent influx of invites as speaker and guest of honor at prestigious universities across the United States and Europe.
Having earned a Masters in Architecture from New York’s University of Columbia subsequent to graduating from the American University of Beirut, Michel Abboud has a reputation for provocative projects which deliver both forward thinking and user-friendly functionality. Michel’s defiant no compromise stance in terms of design, continuously raises the bar in the architecture sphere and has gained him respect among a loyal client base and fellow design professionals.