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Buildings to Boats: The Way Things Worked and Other Tales of Construction History
Two presentations:

The Return of the Bearing Wall: The Secret History of SOM’s Tube Structures by Thomas Leslie, FAIA

Fazlur Khan’s development of the “tube structure” is one of the most storied myths of 20th century engineering. By treating tall building structures as ‘super-columns,’ Khan and his engineering team were able to efficiently reach world-beating heights with the John Hancock and Sears Towers (1969, 1974). But, like most groundbreaking engineering innovations, the attribution of the tube structure to Khan alone is misleading. In reality, the principle emerged out of several incremental improvements in tall building structures—some of them unlikely but, in hindsight, obvious sources. This presentation will look at the sources of the tube structure, tracing its course through apartment buildings in New York and Chicago by I.M. Pei and August Komendant and tall buildings of the early 1960s by SOM and showing how the principle inspired variant approaches to apartment tower design that have rarely been acknowledged as tube structures.

A Conversation with David Macauley: Illustrator of and for the Ages

Award-winning author David Macaulay sits down in conversation with CHSA’s Brian Bowen to discuss his process and examine his elegantly illustrated books laced with wry humor. Macaulay’s architect-trained eye not only shows the reader how things are made but conveys complex technical information as to how and why they function. Macaulay’s Building Series includes Castle, Cathedral, City, Pyramid, Underground, Unbuilding, Mill, Ship, Mosque and his latest publication Crossing on Time: Steam Engines, Fast Ships and a Journey to the New World.

Sep 17, 2021 12:00 PM in Central Time (US and Canada)

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