Fazlur Kahn – Structural Artist of Urban Building Form

The exhibition Fazlur Kahn – Structural Artist of Urban Building Form is currently on display on the first floor of the Engineering Library in Friend Center. The exhibition is open to the public during the library’s open hours.

Fazlur Rahman Khan (1929-1982) was a structural engineer of tall buildings who worked in Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM) in Chicago.  From 1965 to 1982, Khan significantly advanced the engineering design of urban buildings.  His designs were disciplined by efficiency and economy, yet he also sought to achieve elegance.  For Khan, elegance was not ornamentation, but an expression of structure, which in turn reveals the intimate relationship between forces and form.  

The exhibition examines a number of Khan’s major realized tall building systems in concrete and steel through models, photographs, descriptions of the relationship between forces and form, some of Khan’s personal notebooks, video interviews of prominent structural engineers, and documentary videos of some buildings.