3.0 Vertical Structural Systems Pt. 2 Historical evolution of tall buildings
Timeline of the tallest structures in the world with the tallest non-building structures (blue) and the new ecological skyscapers (green).
The Monadnock Building Burnham & Root Chicago, IL 1891 16 story solid masonry load-bearing walls. Note the shear walls in the transverse direction for resisting wind loads.
The invention of the modern hi-rise building was made possible by three important technological advances:
Glass curtain wall construction. The development of large, sheets of mass produced glass allowed for the development of a transparency of envelope that provided large amounts of daylight. Glass as a building skin was introduced in Paxton’s famous Crystal Palace for the international exposition of 1851.
Steel frames. Enabled buildings to to be very tall and resist the extreme loads resulting from gravity and wind. At the same time, the steel frame provided an open, flexible interior space planning that was required for modern office accommodation.
Lift or elevator. Otis’s invention of the lift provided the means for people to circulate easier in tall buildings. In the NY World’s Fair of 1853, Otis personally demonstrated the safety of the lift. By 1857 the first passenger lift was installed in a building in New York City.
Home Insurance Building William Le Baron Jenney Chicago, IL 1885 Often considered to be the first modern skyscraper because of its early use of a steel frame. Above the sixth floor the framing employed the first rolled steel sections. All connections are bolted. The Home Insurance Bldg. also incorporated an elevator although not the first to do so (the Equitable Building in NYC 1870 by Gilman and Kendall). Above left: diagram of the Fair Store Building, Chicago, 1891 by Wm. LB. Jenney illustrating floor construction and prefabricated terracotta fireproofing.
Portal Frame: Lateral load Portal Frame: Gravity load Distribution of bending moments in a portal frame under lateral loading.
The deflection of a tall frame structure is a combination of the movement due to bending of the whole structure and the horizontal deflection due to the bending of individual beams and columns.
Three buildings by Holabird and Roche. Chicago, 1899. The façade of the Gage Building on the far left is by Louis Sullivan.
Auditorium Building Louis Sullivan & Charles Adler 1889 Bayard Building Louis Sullivan 1898 NYC The expression of “romanesque style” as attributed to the architect H. H. Richardson. An overall Strong expression of verticality combined with abstracted unity to the composition is achieved through expression of the bay combined with a variation in ornamentation based on naturalistic themes. the rustication of the masonry and the scale and grouping of the window openings.
Reliance Building Daniel Burnham & John Wellborn Root 1894 The Reliance Building expresses the transparency of the modern glass curtain wall although the glass frames here are still infill units between the spandrel beams. The reading of the columns is suppressed lending a strong horizontality To the fenestration. Window bay units are cantilevered out from the structural frame.
Chicago Tribune Building Raymond Hood & John Howells Chicago 1925
Bruno Taut Walter Gropius Elliel Saarinen
Glass Skyscraper project Mies van der Rohe 1922 Skyscraper Le Corbusier Cap de la Marine 1938
City for Three Million ca. 1924 Plan Voisin Le Corbusier Paris 1925
Obus E Project for Algiers Le Corbusier Cap de la Marine 1938
Typical tall building circa 1920’s. Lower east side Manhattan. Paramount Bldg. New York, 1927
Possible skyscraper massing under the NYC 1920 zoning laws. Drawings made by Hugh Ferris with Harvey Wiley Corbett in 1922.
Barclay-Vesey Building Voorhees, Gmelin & Walker NYC 1926
Woolworth Building Cass Gilbert NYC 1913 The Woolworth Building at 235m was the tallest building in the world (the Eiffel Tower at 300m is not considered a building as it lacks floor loads and enclosure). The 29-story base is U-shaped. The slender tower of the Woolworth Building grows gracefully out of the base with a compositional flatness and layering that presages phenomenal transparency.
Empire State Building Shreve lamb & Harmon NYC 1931 At 383m the Empire State Building remained the tallest building in the world for 40 years. The time of realization from preliminary drawings to completion was only 18 months. The structure of the tower is a braced steel frame with semi-rigid connections. It remains one of the stiffest towers for its height, largely due to the heavy cladding that is designed to stiffen the frame.
40 Wall St. Severance and Matsui NYC 1929
City Services Building
Leonidov Moscow 1934 William Van Alen Chrysler Building 1930 Russian constructivism Art deco style
Lake Shore Apartments Mies van der Rohe Chicago 1949
Seagrams Building Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson New York 1954-58
Seagram Building Mies van der Rohe NYC 1958 Lake Shore Drive Apts. Mies van der Rohe Chicago 1951
Lever House Skidmore Owings & Merrill / Gordon Bunshaft NYC 1952
Types of vertical structural systems
First Wisconsin Center Skidmore Owings & Merrill Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1974 An example of a steel frame with a belt truss and outrigger system at the 15th and 41st floors, and a transfer truss at the 3rd level. Note that the outrigger trusses are in the direction of the wind only indicating that wind resistance in the longi- tudinal direction is provided only by the stiffness of the frame. Diagrams illustrate the effect of belt truss and outriggers in stiffening a core-frame structure. On the right, the bending moment decreases in response to increasing stiffness provided by the belt trusses.
Design research on tall buildings at IIT (Illinois Institute of Technology (under Mies van der Rohe) Aesthetics of the tall building derived from rational structure design for efficiency and economy. Myron Goldsmith Superframe 80+ story high rise
Sasaki Thesis (IIT 1962) John Hancock Tower (SOM 1969)
Hodgkinson Thesis (IIT 1968) 780 Park Avenue (SOM 1979)
Breitman Thesis (IIT 1972) Alcoa Building (SOM 19) B.O.C. (I.M Pei 1987)
John Hancock Center SOM / Bruce Graham / Fazlur Khan Chicago 1970