World Trade Centers designer, master practitioner of “romanticized modernism,” Minoru Yamasaki

21 08 2008

Minoru Yamasaki was an Asian architect best known for his design of the World Trade Center.

Minoru won the American Institute of Architects’ First Honor Award three times. As one of the most prominent 20th century architects, Minoru is generally considered to be one of the two master practitioners of “romanticized modernism.”

Minoru is remembered for innovative designs that allowed for space maximization in the design of skyscrapers. (A major limiting factor in skyscrapers are space-consuming elevator banks.)

Minoru helped increased the usable space on each floor of a skyscraper by 75%. He did this by standardizing a new elevator system where people switch from a large-capacity express elevator at “sky lobby” floors. People could then switch to local elevators for higher floors . **This system was inspired by the NYC Subway system, where trains stop at express stations but allow commuters to transfer at local stations.

Minoru’s design for the World Trade Center was unveiled to the public on January 18, 1964, with an eight-foot model.

Fun Fact?

Many of Minoru’s buildings make use of extremely narrow vertical windows…mainly because of his acrophobia, or fear of heights.

Thanks Ami.





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