May 6th 1968

John Hancock Center Tops Out

Designed by Bruce Graham and engineered by Fazlur Khan, both of SOM, the 100-story tall John Hancock Center is a vertical city within the city, containing offices, condominiums, restaurants, shops, and parking. Groundbreaking at the time of its completion, the tower debuted Khan’s “trussed tube” structural system. This novel approach used an x-braced external steel frame to efficiently distribute the extreme wind and gravity loads generated by such a tall building. Research proving this technique’s efficiency was carried out by IIT graduate student Mikio Sasaki under the guidance of Kahn and Myron Goldsmith.