Tag Archives: Bill LeMessurier

Citicorp Center Building, Structure and how to solve problem

My field is Architecture, so I should have written something about it, but I did not; so now, here is the first time I write about Architecture.

Citicorp Center was design by Bill LeMessurier. He needed to show his main structure which was 4 9-floor-tall columns outside the building, be each column located at the middle of each elevation. This is an awesome design, but this building got less stable than usual buildings which the columns are at the corners.

Firstly, the main structure was big triangle trusses inside with bolt joint which is cheaper than weld joint. When it got build, the calculation result was it would be able to stand for 16 years, and collapse when the storm came. Bill LeMessurier got hard time to run around to look for someone to solve this problem. He found that he needed to add more members into the structure and weld them all again. All cost $4.3 million, which the company paid for. At the end, the building would stay till the 700-year storm.

The thing that Bill LeMessurier taught his students is to have a social obligation. It is a moral of responsibility to fix the problem that they made.

We may be able to look at this project of Citicorp with the American belief. At first, with this cool design, the building might not strong enough to stand, but with Bill LeMessurier’s effort, he could make his dream came true. On the other hand, he should have told this problem to the Citicorp company before it is too late to fix with the big money. He might need to stop the project and re-designed which might costed cheaper and to fix.

Anyway, Bill LeMessurier became the hero by this master piece, and that is the world knows his Citicorp Center.

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