Architect  

Minoru Yamasaki

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Works World Trade Center, at New York, New York, 1970 to 1977, destroyed by terrorist attack on September 11, 2001.

St. Louis Airport, at St. Louis, Missouri, 1951 to 1956.
Pruitt-Igoe Public Housing, at St. Louis, Missouri, 1955, demolished 1972.
American Concrete Institute, at Detroit, Michigan, 1958.
Dhahran Air Terminal, at Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, 1959 to 1961.
Century Plaza Hotel, at Century City, Los Angeles, California, 1961 to 1966.
Temple Beth-El, at Bloomfield Township, Michigan, 1968 to 1974.
Performing Arts Center, at Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1973 to 1976.
Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency Headquarters, at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 1973 to 1982.

      map of works

Biography

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Minoru Yamasaki

(b. Seattle, December 1, 1912; d. February 7, 1986)

"Minoru Yamasaki was an American architect who achieved fame in the late 1950s with his sensuous, textile-like structures, and who later changed the Manhattan skyline with the two towers of the World Trade Center.

"...Yamasaki studied architecture at the University of Washington, graduating in 1934. It was during the Great Depression, a bad time for architects, and the young Yamasaki moved to New York, looking for work...

"Yamasaki used the hull-core structure again at his last pair of buildings. Completed in 1976, with Emery Roth as joint architect, the World Trade Center changed the New York skyline with two towers of great purity of form. The outer structure is steel, played straight until the towers reaches the ground, where the mullions merge in sinuous curves that once again remind one of the Gothic."

— John Winter, in Randall J. Van Vunckt, ed. International Dictionary of Architects and Architecture : Volume 1, Architects, p1006 to p1008.

The Creator's Words

"The purpose of architecture is to create an atmosphere in which man can live, work, and enjoy."

— Minoru Yamasaki, quoted on the Minoru Yamasaki Associates, Inc. web site.

"There are a few very influential architects who sincerely believe that all buildings must be 'strong'. The word 'strong' in this context seems to connote 'powerful' — that is, each building should be a monument to the virility of our society. These architects look with derision upon attempts to build a friendly, more gentle kind of building. The basis for their belief is that our culture is derived primarily from Europe, and that most of the important traditional examples of European architecture are monumental, reflecting the need of the state, church , or the feudal families — the primary patrons of these buildings — to awe and impress the masses. This is incongruous today. Although it is inevitable for architects who admire these great monumental buildings of Europe to strive for the quality most evident in them — grandeur, the elements of mysticism and power, basic to cathedrals and palaces, are also incongruous today, because the buildings we build for our times are for a totally different purpose."

— Minoru Yamasaki, in Paul Heyer, Architects on Architecture: New Directions in America, p186.

Firm Contact Information:

Mr. William Ku, President
Minoru Yamasaki Associates
6841 North Rochester Road, Suite 300
Rochester Hills, Michigan 48306-4342
248-650-1300 voice, 248-650-1313 fax

Resources Sources on Minoru Yamasaki

A Life in Architecture. Minoru Yamasaki. Weatherhill, September 1979. ISBN 0834801361. — Available at Amazon.com

Architects on Architecture: New Directions in America. Paul Heyer. New York: Walker and Company, 1966. LC 66-22504. IBSN 0442017510. discussion, quotations, and photos, p184 - 195. — Out of print, but you can request a search for this book at Amazon.com

Contemporary American Success Stories : Famous People of Asian Ancestry : Pat Suzuki; Minoru Yamasaki; An Wang; Conni E Chung; Carlos Bulosan. Barbara J. Marvis. Mitchell Lane Pub., October 1993. ISBN 1883845068. — Available at Amazon.com

Randall J. Van Vunckt, ed. International Dictionary of Architects and Architecture : Volume 1, Architects. Detroit: St. James Press, 1993. ISBN 1-55862-087-7. LC 93-13431. NA40.I48 1993. 720'.9-dc20.

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    Yamasaki BiographyOnline at the Detroit News.

    Minoru Yamasaki Associates, Inc.The official firm web site.

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