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Fazlur Khan: The engineer who made it possible to live in the sky (wikipedia.org)
86 points by DaniFong on June 12, 2014 | hide | past | favorite | 9 comments

He's got a special place in my heart, as an engineer, a Bengali, and as someone who loves Chicago and its architecture. Its worth visiting the Sears Tower if you haven't. Its one of the great wonders of engineering and architecture. They have an exhibit to Khan on the tour.

There is a story about him. He was visiting his native Bangladesh, and someone asked him: "why don't you come back here?" He said: "I build skyscrapers, what am I going to do here?"

What's really great about the Sears Tower is how you can see the bundled tube structure in the exterior architecture: http://www.steelguru.com/uploads/reports/fea1-03-10-2010.jpg

The Burj Kalifa also: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-TIxCUNbAei8/T8p_3a2AHoI/AAAAAAAAAB...

This pic is helpful for a 3D look at the same:


Turns out he did build one in Bangldesh.

I wasn't aware that he also did the Hancock building. While I was a student at NU, I would take the L down and walk along Chicago Avenue to my part-time job at the NU Medical School as the Hancock was being built. I still have some Kodachrome slides of it as it was going up.

There's a great article on the design of the Hancock tower, which goes into the reasons for the (now iconic) diagonal bracing: http://khan.princeton.edu/khanHancock.html. During my time at NU, I lived right next to Onterie, which has architectural diagonal bracing as a nod to Kahn's work on the Hancock tower.


At the time that the Hancock was going up, there were lots of Trib articles about the engineering aspects of the braces.

Chicago does have such a great architectural examples. Matasano has offices in the Monadnock building, at one time on the 18th floor of a 17 story building. Marvelous building.

Very interesting, although is there a reason that it's been posted now?

Because sometimes it's nice to see other people's success. It sure keeps me going.

I appreciate the sentiment, and no disrespect for the guy either, but it makes this site a little less like 'Hacker News' and more like the front page of Wikipedia.

Yeah I know what you mean. I sometimes start flagging the wikipedia articles when there are too many on the front page. It really does feel odd when there's too many, as if people are just desperate for karma (a la reddit).

I'm not saying that they shouldn't be on hackernews exactly... but I wish people would at least write up a blogpost or find a news article about a subject, rather than just posting wikipedia pages directly.

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