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Engineering Architecture: The Vision of Fazlur R. Khan

Engineering Architecture: The Vision of Fazlur R. Khan

Engineering Architecture: The Vision of Fazlur R. Khan
By Yasmin Sabina Khan

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Book Description

The structural engineer responsible for Chicago's John Hancock Center and Sears Tower, Fazlur R. Khan (1929-1982) pioneered structural systems for high-rise design that broadened the palette of building forms and expressions available to design professionals today.

Through detailed examination of projects at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, this study of Khan's career provides insight into architectural and engineering practice. 200 illus.

Book Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #1423823 in Books
  • Published on: 2004-07-17
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 9.60" h x 1.20" w x 6.50" l, 1.89 pounds
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • 416 pages

Editorial Reviews

“A worthy and delightfully written tribute to a remarkable man.”
- Architectural Science Review

“Seldom is the life and work of a designer described so abundantly as in this book about Fazlur Kahn (1929-1982). Written by his daughter, Yasmin, who has earned her own record as designer, this book is very personable story of a driven technician with a deep love of his profession... [R]eads like a novel.”
- Bouwen met Stall

“[A] moving tribute to an important figure--one that would surely make him as proud of his daughter as she clearly is of him.”
- Civil Engineering

“Among several eminent Kahns and Khans in…American construction, none better deserves a full study…[S]upplants the only previous book-length study”
- Construction History: Journal of the Construction History Society

“Fazlur R. Khan is one of the most influential structural engineers of the 20th century… his daughter has written an account of his achievements and laced his creative timeline with descriptions of his theories and practices.”
- Mia Jacobi, Desert Living

“[A] much needed book… The prose reads swiftly, the chapters are well-organized, and, most important, the stories they narrate are compelling.”
- Joseph Siry, Journal of Architectural Education

“Here is a book that will make you proud to be a part of the design/construction community… [A]n inspiring biography.”
- Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities

“[A]n inspiration to the engineer as well as the architect.”
- Shahin Vassigh, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians

“Yasmin Sabina Khan has written an engaging intellectual biography of her father. . . . This lengthy book is rich with ideas relevant to historians of technology...[A]n excellent variety of illustrations... Khan’s carefully researched work contributes substantially to the literature on mid-twentieth century large-scale building.”
- Sharon Irish, Technology and Culture

“[W]ell presented and has materials of great interest for structural engineers.”
- The Structural Engineer

About the Author

Yasmin Sabina Khan is Fazlur Khan's daughter. She writes: In Engineering Architecture I set out to both record the significance of my father's accomplishments and shed light on the indescribable creative process by exploring how my father defined and worked through his design problems. I am sincerely pleased to hear that within his experience readers have discovered not only example but also inspiration.
I am happy about all of the encouraging reviews the book has received. They highlight my father's place in Chicago history and his role as a world leader in the design field. But the concluding words of one review, in the Journal of Architectural Education, are especially meaningful to me, as you can imagine: "[Fazlur] Khan also must have been a human being of extraordinary spiritual depth. He appears as a model of what many would like to be."

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful.
4A fascinating account of the life of Fazlur Khan arguably the 20th century's greatest structural engineer
By R. Emmott
This book provides a fascinating account of the life of Dr Fazlur Khan as written by his daughter. My interest in the book was especially the development of steel usage in tall buildings, and this is covered well although perhaps with a little too much technical language. I would imagine that other structural engineers will find the book fascinating. Those that are not will be enlightened at Khan's insights into how buildings could be made taller using new structural systems that pushed structural engineering and architecture to the limits and gave us buildings such as the John Hancock Center and Sears Tower (Now Willis Tower) in Chicago.

What also emerges is an engaging portrait of a man at the peak of his profession when he died tragically of a heart attack at the age of 52. He seems to have had an unusual intellect and focus combined with an ability to work with and get the best of people - not unlike Warren Buffet in those respects. Yet outside his profession, he remained virtually unknown since his death in 1982. Which is a shame. This book will help to maintain his legacy.

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
5wonderful combination of biography and engineering.
By gpetrov
This is an amazing book that combines biography, history, and engineering.
The author blends wonderfully a touching story about Fazlur Khan as a father, with eloquently presented explanations of his greatest ideas about engineering.

This should be a required reading for anyone practicing structural engineering.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful.
5Inspirational Read
By Chin-Chin Yeh
Ms. Khan's book about her father and his work is a wonderful and inspirational read. Dr. Khan was an extraordinary person in addition to his engineering talents. Ms. Khan does a fabulous job of relaying her father's philosophies and thoughts in both engineering and life. While the book may be about engineering, Ms. Khan does an excellent job of explaining concepts so that even a lay person such as myself can easily comprehend the concepts. Dr. Khan was a much revered and loved figure in Chicago and Ms. Khan shows us why. This book will inspire you!

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