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Minoru Yamasaki

He was condemned in the 1970s for ruining Manhattan's skyline. Now, destruction of his towers has ruined it again

By Rowan Moore   November 2001

The twin towers of the World Trade Centre, designed and built from 1962 to 1973, were engineered to withstand the impact of a Boeing 707. Their foundations descended 70 feet below ground to the point where they hit rock. Round the perimeter of each tower, 84 18-inch steel columns clad in unrusting aluminium acted in concert to form something called vierendeel truss. This made each tower a rigid wand, which would move no more than eight inches in ten seconds in a 100-mile per hour wind. For a 110-storey building this is no movement at all. Their architect’s proud boast…

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