Minoru Yamasaki December 1, 1912 – February 7, 1986 was an American architect best known for his design of the World Trad Center which was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 attacks. Yamasaki was one of the most prominent architects of the 20th century and his firm, Yamasaki & Associates, continues to do business. He and fellow architect Edward Durell Stone are generally considered to be the two master practitioners of "romanticized modernism".
Yamasaki, born in Seattle, Washington, was a second-generation Japanese American. He enrolled in the University of Washington program in architecture in 1929, and graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) in 1934. During his college years, he was strongly encouraged by faculty member Lionel Pries. He earned money to pay for his tuition by working at an Alaskan salmon cannery.
After moving to New York City in the 1930s, he enrolled at New York University for a master's degree in architecture and got a job with the architecture firm Shreve, Lamb and Harmon, designers of the Empire State Building. In 1945, Yamasaki moved to Detroit, where he was hired by Smith, Hinchman, and Grylls. Yamasaki left the firm in 1949, and started his own partnership. In 1964 Yamasaki received a D.F.A. from Bates College.
Yamasaki was first married in 1941 and had two other wives before marrying his first wife again in 1969. He died of cancer in 1986, and hence did not live to see the destruction of the twin towers of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
The former World Trade Center
His first significant project was the Pruitt-Igoe housing project in St. Louis, Missouri, 1955. Despite his love of Japanese traditional design, this was a stark, modernist concrete structure. The housing project experienced so many problems that it was demolished in 1972, less than twenty years after its completion. Its destruction is considered by some to be the beginning of postmodern architecture.
He also designed several "sleek" international airport buildings and was responsible for the innovative design of the 1,360 foot (415 metre) towers of the World Trade Center, for which design began in 1965, and construction in 1972. Many of his buildings are loosely inspired by Gothic architecture and make use of extremely narrow vertical windows. This narrow-windowed style arose from his own personal fear of heights.
Yamasaki was an original member of the Pennsylvania Avenue Commission, which was tasked with restoring the grand avenue in Washington, D.C., but resigned after disagreements and disillusionment with the design by committee approach.
After teaming up with Emery Roth and Sons on the design of the World Trade Center, they teamed up again on other projects including new defense buildings at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C.
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, 1965
World Trade Center Tower 1 and Tower 2, New York City, New York (destroyed on 9/11/2001 by terrorist attack)
^ abcdefg Esterow, Milton. "Architect Named for Trade Center", The New York Times, September 21, 1962.
^ ab "Center Will Reflect Architectural Collaboration", The New York Times, January 19, 1964.
^ ab Huxtable, Ada Louise. "Pools, Domes, Yamasaki - Debate", The New York Times, November 25, 1962.
^ Huxtable, Ada Louise. "N.Y.C. Architectural Ups and Downs", The New York Times, February 2, 1964.
^ Robbins, William. "2 Firms Are Welding Abilities to Plan World Trade Center", The New York Times, March 26, 1967.
^ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwx Vivian M. Baulch. "Minoru Yamasaki, world-class architect", The Detroit News, August 14, 1998. Retrieved on 2007-11-23.
^ Carleton College Facilities Management (undated). Historical Building Information. Carleton College. Retrieved on 2007-07-10.
^ Massport (undated). 2002 EDR Logan International Airport. Massport. Retrieved on 2007-07-11.
^ North Shore Congregation Israel About Us Facilities. Retrieved on 2007-06-04.
Yamasaki, Minoru, A Life in Architecture, Weatherhill, NY 1979 ISBN 0834801361
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