Happy 100th Birthday Mr. Yamaski!
November 29, 2012
One World Trade Center, in New York City, has been in the news for reaching a point where it is the tallest building in the United States and will soon be completed with its spire reaching 1776 feet. Next to it are the two memorial pools in the footprints of the Twin Towers. These original towers were designed by architect Minoru Yamasaki, whose 100th birthday would have been December 1st.
Here in Missouri, Yamasaki designed the beautiful curving terminals at Lambert Field in St. Louis. The curves symbolize the first flight of Orville Wright at Kitty Hawk. A number of Yamasaki's buildings have a soaring or uplifting feeling when viewed. Besides the original World Trade Center towers (with their vertical, modern, gothic arches), other buildings he designed with this theme are: the Civil Air Terminal in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; the North Shore Congregation Israel synagogue in Glencoe, Illinois; and the Gateway Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Yamasaki stated, "It is important for us to have serene buildings because our civilization is chaotic, our machine age has brought about a chaos that has to be counterbalanced." The Twin Towers expressed Yamasaki's following of Le Corbusier, who felt that buildings should have the bulk of the structure off the ground, have a non-supporting facade, and open floor plan so the space could be configured as the architect wished, with windows that provided unencumbered views.
It is interesting to see the differences in the original and new World Trade Centers and how architecture has changed over the years. Besides books on architecture, there are several Web Resources on architecture.
North Oak Branch