BENJAMIN WOOD, AIA, received his Masters in Architecture from MIT in 1984. His first commission in China was Xintiandi, a cultural entertainment district in Shanghai. The project received a 2003 Award of Excellence from the Urban Land Institute.
His most significant contribution on a major project outside of China was as the Chief Architect of New Soldier Field in Chicago, home of the Chicago Bears. Completed in September of 2003 at a cost of 620 million US$, this 64,000 seat stadium was built in a record 19 months. Co-designed with his former partner Carlos Zapata, New Soldier Field was named by the New York Times as one of the ten best buildings of 2003. Other buildings done in collaboration with Carlos Zapata include the Bethesda Academy for the Performing Arts, the Publix Store in Miami, Beach, and the Chicago Bears Football Club Practice Facility.
Ben’s experience in large projects involving multi-disciplinary teams began in the late 80’s when he was a partner at Ben Thompson’s office in Cambridge Massachusetts. He was the Design Director when Ben Thompson was awarded the Gold Medal by the AIA in 1988. Ben was the Partner-in-Charge for the redevelopment of Spitalfields Market, City of London (3 million sq. ft.) and the Chief Architect for the Minato Murai complex, a 3.5 million sq. ft. mixed-use project in Yokohoma Japan (in association with Nikken Seikkei).
In the 90’s, first as a principal of Thompson and Wood, then later with Wood and Zapata, Ben authored master plans for the Revitalization of New York’s Times Square (1993), Lincoln Road and the Art Deco District in Miami Beach (1992), Playhouse Square in Cleveland Ohio (ULI Award of Excellence), and developed growth management strategies for the Rocky Mountain resort towns of Snowmass, Aspen, and Telluride Colorado and for Park City Utah.