An architecture firm will begin work on a new project in Monterey today. Chicago-based Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP was given a $2.9 million contract last week to redesign the city’s Conference Center. The project will be funded by revenue from a tax on Monterey hotels. Construction is expected to be completed by late 2016. The architecture firm is well-known for other projects including the 7 World Trade Center in New York City and Willis Tower in Chicago.