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Thread: Chicago - John Hancock Center - by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

  1. #1

    Default Chicago - John Hancock Center - by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

    Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

    Year: 1969

    Style: Modern

    Description: The X bracings on this mixed-use building eliminated the need for inner support beams.


















  2. #2

    Default Chicago - John Hancock

    I wonder why this form of construction isn't used more often.

  3. #3

    Default Chicago - John Hancock

    One of the best of the best. Thanks ddny.

    I wonder why this form of construction isn't used more often.
    So do I.
    Maybe because it blocks the view from some windows, but that's not very convincing.

  4. #4

    Default Chicago - John Hancock

    It's being used on Times Square Tower.

  5. #5

    Default Chicago - John Hancock

    Quote: from dbhstockton on 1:31 pm on June 1, 2003
    It's being used on Times Square Tower.
    Good. It makes the building much stronger.

  6. #6

    Default Chicago - John Hancock

    Maximises column-less floorspace on a tight lot. *It's not used too often because it often ruins a lot of views.

  7. #7
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    Default Chicago - John Hancock

    The diagonal bracing on Big John are there to tie the exterior columns together and serve as wind bracing.

    As you guys know, the Hancock is a tube structure. In order for it to be an effective system, columns have to be spaced fairly close, no more than 15'-0". This was not the case in Hancock because they had to maximize views. Thus came the diagonals. The floors are framed conventionally. Both Bunscaft and Fahzlur Kahn spoke of this in seperate interviews.

    Sears had a similar problem due to column spacing, but that was resolved by bundling nine tubes together. The Aon Building ( nee Amoco, nee Standard Oil) had none of this because the exterior columns are spaces very close. I was on the 35th floor to meet with a client and it is very cavernous, unlike Hancock ( Which I have been in) or, I assume, Sears ( which I have not).

  8. #8

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    I read somewhere that rents are actually higher in the offices or apartments that have bracing across windows, since the cross-bracing is a unique feature... ...Hat-tip to the cleverness of real-estate development folks!

  9. #9

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    Another reason this system is not more often used is that it does not naturally encourage setbacks or any but the simplest overall building configuration.

  10. #10

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    Does it really make it stronger though? That's what they said the supports of the WTC would do. However, we all know what happened there. In addition, the ESB was once struck by a plane and it survived. It has the traditional structure of the columns on the inside. Do these types of tubular support systems really make it stronger?

  11. #11
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom Tower
    Does it really make it stronger though? That's what they said the supports of the WTC would do. However, we all know what happened there. In addition, the ESB was once struck by a plane and it survived. It has the traditional structure of the columns on the inside. Do these types of tubular support systems really make it stronger?
    Only computer models could tell us this. In "Men of Steel" several ideas thrown out was that had the WTC been braced, like the Hancock, it would not have sufferred total collapse. You can make models with balsa and see this in action. But at the same time, a tower that did not have the closely spaced exterior columns and deep spandrels like the WTC would have sufferred some form of collapse immediately after the impact of the planes.

  12. #12
    Senior Member JonY's Avatar
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    Default

    Becoming big fan of ddny's pics 8) Visited the Central Park Buildings' thread a couple of times now.

    I had always thought the bracing pertained only to the wind forces rather than the dead weight of the structure. Yet as Chicagoan has pointed out, it was to kill another birdie with one stone re to tie the exterior columns together.

    Sears is also wonderful and has had a few reasonable replicas built emmulating it - John Hancock, there is only one identifiable John Hancock.

    Bracing of kinds seemed to be popular on the drawing boards from the mid-60s to the early 70s (thereabouts):

    Reanaissance Tower in Dallas (Architects Hellmouth, Obata, Kassabaum, completed 1974 - I believe this is decorative rather than structural:



    We can however see the influence of J.H. on BHP House, Melbourne as S.O.M. were consultants to architects Yuncken Freeman (with cuter bracing :wink: ):


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    Default Re: Chicago - John Hancock

    Quote Originally Posted by dbhstockton
    It's being used on Times Square Tower.
    And on Citicorp Center. The braces obviously aren't exposed, though.

  14. #14

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    Right.
    I think they are V-braces instead of X-braces.

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    Bah. I meant diagonal braces in general, not necessarily X-bracing.

    Stop being so particular :P

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