How Structuring Skyscrapers Became Beautiful

Fazlur Rahman Khan was a pioneer in the structural engineering of tall buildings. After buildings exceed sixty stories height, gravity loads account for a smaller proportion of structural weight than wind loads. Khan developed the tubed truss tower design to stiffen the building at taller heights without adding significant weight. The tube design had the added consequence of pushing the structure out to the exterior of the building to become part of its architectural expression. However, the acceptance of visible steel trusses was a slow process that parallels the acceptance of engineering infrastructure like bridges as aesthetic productions. This video traces a lineage of this process from Eiffel — who’s pylon designs look much like the Hancock Tower — to today. 

Architecture with Stewart is a YouTube journey exploring architecture’s deep and enduring stories in all their bewildering glory. Weekly videos and occasional live events breakdown a wide range of topics related to the built environment in order to increase their general understanding and advocate their importance in shaping the world we inhabit.

Stewart Hicks is an architectural design educator that leads studios and lecture courses as an Associate Professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He also serves as an Associate Dean in the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts and is the co-founder of the practice Design With Company. His work has earned awards such as the Architecture Record Design Vanguard Award or the Young Architect’s Forum Award and has been featured in exhibitions such as the Chicago Architecture Biennial and Design Miami, as well as at the V&A Museum and Tate Modern in London. His writings can be found in the co-authored book Misguided Tactics for Propriety Calibration, published with the Graham Foundation, as well as essays in MONU magazine, the AIA Journal Manifest, Log, bracket, and the guest-edited issue of MAS Context on the topic of character architecture.

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Cite: Diego Hernández. "How Structuring Skyscrapers Became Beautiful" 26 Feb 2022. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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