Julia Skeete

Julia is Senior Associate Principal at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. Her role is significant for the London office as a member of the firmwide project management steering committee that leads the research on new technologies that develop into firmwide standards. 

She also has an important role in sharing the lessons learned within different offices and in reaching out to industry groups for presentations and discussions, collaborating in the creation of a network promoting the sharing of knowledge, expertise and cloud-based project management tools among all SOM offices. 

Julia has always worked in projects through completion and most have been recognised widely both critically though peer review and/or with multiple awards in the U.K. and Europe e.g Dublin Airport Pier D, JTI International Headquarters and Manhattan Loft Gardens. Currently Julia is the Project Manager and Executive Member of a SOM joint venture, leading the most high profile international project in the London office for the new building and refurbishment of the heritage buildings at the United Nations of Geneva – Palais des Nations. In addition, in the development of the ambitious Park Place, targeted to be the tallest residential towers in Canary Wharf, Julia leads the multidisciplinary design team. 

She also leads several internal committees at SOM including the Equity Design Lab, a group within SOM founded in 2020 that is building the firm-wide Equity Toolkit set up for SOM to deliver on its commitment for an equitable, healthy and resilient built environment where communities thrive in all projects; Co-chair for the London office’s branch of the Women’s Initiative, a community that challenges the barrier of gender equity and fostering the retention and growth of women to create a sustainable workplace that reflects and enhances the built environment. Julia’s core advocacy to bolster women in architecture recruitment, retention and productivity is an initiative supported by the SOM advocacy group, TEDD (Talent, Equity, Diversity, and Development), a team of leaders who focus on how to build equitable opportunities within the firm and beyond. 

Julia was previously featured in the AJ100 Women in Architecture spread that highlighted the up and coming architects, their roles within the industry and crucially the well being and work life balance being promoted with her role as both a woman and a mother leading in the built industry. Since then, Julia’s outreach has developed into several external engagements to serve as a mentor and judge for women in architecture.  At Women in Construction and Engineering (WICE) Awards she was a finalist for the Project Management category in 2019 and was selected to return as a judge in 2022 for the  ‘Young Architect’ and ‘Young Technologist’ categories. Julia also judged the 2022  Activism Category in the Archiboo Awards that showcased the energy, power and ingenuity of the quintessential grass roots activism group emergent in the built environment and tackling equity issues. To build on this, Julia will continue through 2023 to serve on the advisory councils for the IBWI Well Equity Rating accreditation to support its release.