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Standing Strong in the Windy City

As part of its Skyline Stories video series, the Chicago Architecture Foundation highlights Willis Tower as a seminal skyscraper that helped transform supertall building design. Formerly known as the Sears Tower, the Chicago icon is comprised of nine squared tubes, each rigid within itself without internal supports. The tubes are bundled together and terminate at varying heights, creating a multi-tiered, wind-resistant form. Watch the video

Steam vapor rising from a Con Edison stack near Wall Street.

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Art + Architecture: Inside the Burj Khalifa

Most photos of the world’s tallest building tend to focus on its height. But did you know that the Burj Khalifa also features a world-class art program? Jaume Plensa’s World Voices is composed of 196 gold-plated cymbals suspended on titanium rods, representing each country around the world. Water droplets gently crash upon on the cymbals like pond reeds in rainfall, filling the skyscraper’s residential lobby with beautiful sound. Learn more

Richard Serra, Torqued Ellipses

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An Urban Flowerbox

The Jianianhua Center in China defines a new kind of civic landmark, one that establishes a meaning and presence through an innovative integration of architecture and graphic design. Through the unexpected application of common billboard technology, a glass volume is transformed into dynamic architecture. Learn more

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Turning Bridge-Building Sideways

In 1978, SOM architect Myron Goldsmith and engineer T.Y. Lin created a remarkable structure to span the challenging middle fork of California’s American River. Ruck-A-Chucky Bridge elegantly solves the problem of building a stable, economical structure across a wide, steep gorge by entirely rethinking the principles of bridge-building. A “hanging arc,” the bridge was to be suspended by 80 high-strength cables and balanced by tensile forces. Though unbuilt, Ruck-A-Chucky Bridge stands as a masterwork of innovative design and structural economy to this day. Learn more

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