Princeton structures class studies my father’s work

March 11, 2011

This last fall I was very happy to learn about a new course on building design at Princeton University. It is a structures class that looks at design in a social and historical context. Professors Maria Garlock and Sigrid Adriaenssens invited me to meet with their students to talk about my father and his work. When I visited in September we sat around a table–this photo was taken then–and two students, Liz and Megan, presented a list of questions the class had prepared in advance. A couple of weeks after my visit, Bill Baker, SOM’s structural engineering partner, visited the class to talk about current practice. Leslie Robertson did, too, later on, as well as Guy Nordenson. And Professor David Billington talked with the students about structural art.

September 2010 visit to Princeton









As part of the course work, the class broke into small groups of two or three students each to study one of my father’s high-rise designs in more detail. Each group built a model of its selected building. These five models will soon be featured in an exhibition at the Engineering Library.

I was truly impressed when I received these photos of the models from Professor Garlock. I hope to visit Princeton this year to see the exhibition.

Princeton class

The five buildings modeled are the John Hancock Center in Chicago; the Sears Tower (now called the Willis Tower) in Chicago; the Brunswick Building in Chicago; One Shell Plaza in Houston; and Marine Midland Bank in Rochester.

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