Fazlur Rahman Khan: Engineered The Modern Skyscraper

The Bangladeshi-American structural engineer set the norm for towering buildings worldwide, from Chicago’s Hancock Center to Dubai’s Burj Khalifa.

Tall constructions require efficiency. Built in 1931, the Empire State Building was 102 floors tall and dense.

210 concrete and steel beams made the building unaffordable. The John Hancock Center in Chicago was the second light, powerful, and elegant 100-story structure in the world, built-in 1970.

The building’s steel tube frame inspired modern, mixed-use, towering skyscrapers. Who is the man behind it?

Bangladeshi-American engineer Fazlur Rahman Khan, revolutionized architecture and design worldwide. Aesthetic design and structural engineering were as natural to Khan as breathing. 

Fazlur Rahman Khan

Khan was born in a Bangladeshi village near Dhaka. He attended colleges in Dhaka and Calcutta before receiving a Fulbright scholarship to study in the United States.

There he received two master’s degrees in structural engineering and also theoretical and applied mathematics.

His remarkable innovations enabled him to leave an imprint on design and architecture that lasted long after his early death at the age of 52 in 1982.

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