History of Innovation

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1968: World Trade Center – Towers 1 & 2 – New York City, New York

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Innovation: World Trade Center, Towers 1 & 2
Location:  New York City, New York
Year: 1968
Owner:  Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Architect:  Minoru Yamasaki, Emery Roth & Sons
Engineer:  Leslie E. Roberston Associates

Deemed as lead architect of the World Trade Center project, Minoru Yamasaki proposed a plan that incorporated tall-standing twin towers; a design that would make these towers the tallest structures in the world at the time.  Due to the height of the towers, more elevators than usual needed to be included, but this created a space problem on each floor.  The solution, created by Fazlur Khan, was “sky lobbies” which were “floors where people could switch from a large-capacity express elevator to a local elevator that goes to each floor in a section.”  This saved a tremendous amount of space on each floor.

To make Yamasaki’s design possible, the structural engineer developed a “tube” frame structural system, first introduced by Fazlur Rahman Khan.  Such a system allowed for a more open floor plan at each level as the loads are distributed around the perimeter of the floor through the use of Vierendeel trusses.  The “tube” can be described as “a three-dimensional hollow tube, cantilevered perpendicular to the ground.”  The system is designed to resist lateral loads caused by wind, seismic activity, etc.  The tower was constructed around a core surrounded by a perimeter of columns, bridged together by floor trusses.  [1][2]

Video Documentary: [1]


Written by Johnathan Duong

October 9, 1968 at 5:31 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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