The Eccentric Entrance

by Rita Robison, Assoc. Ed.; Civil Engineering—ASCE, 347 E. 47th St., New York, NY 10017,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1988, Vol. 58, Issue 8, Pg. 72-74

Document Type: Feature article


Architects design irregularly shaped buildings to give their clients something different, and this creates problems for structural engineers, especially in earthquake zones. The Brinderson Towers in Irvine, Calif. face each other diagonally across a plaza, with a corner of each cut back at about 45 degrees from the 7th floor to plaza level. The weight of the structure cantilevering over the inclined face would cause excessive horizontal vertical movements in the upper stories and considerable uplifting forces at the opposite corner. Computer studies led to placing a single column to support the tip of the inclined face, two eccentrically braced frames diagonally through the core, and a precast and prestressed concrete pile foundation system designed to prevent the building overturning and sliding during a major earthquake. Additional computer studies calculated construction loads for erection of the clipped corners. They accurately estimated vertical movements so that, at completion, all imbeds placed for later attachment of the granite facade were in their final positions.

Subject Headings: Building design | Seismic design | Earthquakes | Shopping centers | Vertical loads | Concrete frames | Precast concrete | Concrete piles

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