To Chicagoans, today’s Google search page probably looks familiar.
Monday’s Google Doodle features structural engineer and architect Fazlur Rahman Khan, a Bangladeshi-American man who designed Chicago’s Sears Tower (now Willis Tower) and the John Hancock Center.
Born in 1929, today would have been Khan’s 88th birthday. He came to the United States in 1952 and studied at the University of Illinois, where he earned two master’s degrees and a PhD in structural engineering. Khan was hired by Chicago architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in 1955, and went on to design the two iconic Chicago buildings.
He’s considered the “father of tubular designs” for skyscrapers, which allowed towers to be constructed by the exterior frame of the building rather than the central supports of steel. This method, which proved to be far more efficient by using considerably less steel, has continued t0 be used in many high-rise buildings today. Khan’s design innovation was used in buildings such as the World Trade Center, Bank of China Tower and in New York’s Trump Tower.
At 100 stories high, the Hancock center was the second-tallest building in the world when it was completed in 1968. Built just a few years later in 1973, the Sears Tower is 108 stories high and is the second tallest building in the United States. It was renamed the Willis Tower in 2009.
Khan died of a heart attack in 1982 and was buried in Chicago. Khan is frequently remembered for his quote on always remembering the bigger picture in life.
“The technical man must not be lost in his own technology,” he said. “He must be able to appreciate life, and life is art, drama, music, and most importantly, people.”
Image via Google