by Kay V. Janis, Architect; Bertrand Goldberg Associates, Chicago, IL,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1989, Vol. 59, Issue 3, Pg. 72-75

Document Type: Feature article


The design for a hypothetical 142-story building advances te real-world challenge for taller and taller superskyscrapers. To be located on the riverbank in Chicago, it is 1,745 ft tall containing over 4 million sq ft of commercial and retail space, offices, apartments, a hotel, recreational facilities and parking. Its base dimension 210 ft sq produces an aspect ratio of 8.3, compared to the Sears Tower's 6.4. The square plan rotates to smaller squares through the use of setbacks as the building rises. Integrating these setbacks with diagonal steelbracing allows for freedom and flexibility in manipulation of the mass and form of the building. The framing for the lower half of the building is on a 50 ft sq structural grid, with interior loads carried by columns to the foundations. At the top half, a system of interior hanging trusses takes all the load to the perimeter. The trusses, five stories high and 100 ft long, occur at the top five floors of each ten-floor structural bracing module. The columns are integrated as the vertical members of the trusses; the diagonals are high strength cables that can be enclosed in a standard interior partition. The trusses connect at the major horizontal tie beams of the exterior K-bracing, thus transferring all loads to the exterior every ten floors.

Subject Headings: Trusses | Cables | Building design | Commercial buildings | Parking facilities | Load factors | Columns | Floors | Chicago | Illinois | United States

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