Fazlur Khan and Concrete Buildings

Description: Themes: Second Chicago School: Myron Goldsmith, Bruce Graham, and Fazlur Khan; Collaboration in tall building design at Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill; Khan's evolution of form for concrete tall buildings.

Learning Objectives: Students should be able to: Describe some efficient structural system innovations by Khan that enabled the design and construction of taller buildings (e.g. framed tube, column transfers, trussed tube) to resist wind (social); Understand concept of economy through composite construction (social); Show examples of how structure is expressed in tall building design (symbolic); Discuss some of the structural systems used to give buildings resistance to wind and earthquakes (shear walls, moment frame); Describe how Khan's innovations (transfer wall beam, haunched beam) transferred a building's weight to its foundations.

Keywords reinforced concrete, Khan, Goldsmith, Graham, structural systems, shear walls, rigid frames, moment frames, moment connections, hinged connections, framed tube, trussed tube, transfer beam, haunched beams, column transfer, waffle slab, composite construction, Brunswick Building, Chestnut DeWitt Building, One Shell Plaza, Two Shell Plaza, Midland Marine Building, Ontario Building

Categories: Structural EngineeringPrinceton University, Buildings

Teaching Materials

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Additional Resources

  • Online Courses 
    • Buildings (under development)
  • Related Websites 

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