2020 Fazlur Khan Distinguished Lecture Series

Friday, 28 February 2020 | Bethlehem
About the Khan Series

Structural engineer Fazlur Rahman Khan (1929-1982) ushered in a renaissance of skyscraper construction during the second half of the 20th century. A pragmatic visionary, his efficient designs include Chicago's 100-story 875 N. Michigan (formerly John Hancock Center) and the 108-story Willis Tower (formerly Sears). Lehigh University endowed a chair in structural engineering and architecture and has established this lecture series in Khan’s honor. It is organized by Professor Dan M. Frangopol, the university’s first holder of the Fazlur Rahman Khan Endowed Chair, and sponsored by the Departments of Civil & Environmental Engineering, and Art, Architecture & Design. The 2020 Spring Series features three installments throughout the months of February, March, and April.

Gracing the Sky, Enriching the City
Jon Pickard, Principal, Pickard Chilton
Tall buildings have the ability to define corporations, cities and even nations. As iconic as some towers may be perceived, their true success is in how they positively contribute to their cityscape and, perhaps most importantly, how they improve and enrich the lives of those who live and work every day in the community. Using examples of tall buildings he has designed worldwide, Jon Pickard will speak to the responsibility architects of skyscrapers have in reimagining ground level experiences to serve as a benefit to both the public and the environment.

FAZLUR RAHMAN KHAN (1929 - 1982) One of the foremost structural engineers of the 20th century, Fazlur Khan epitomized both structural engineering achievement and creative collaborative effort between architect and engineer. His ideas for these sky-scraping towers offered more than economic construction and iconic architectural images; they gave people the opportunity to work and live “in the sky.” Hancock Center residents thrive on the wide expanse of sky and lake before them, the stunning quiet in the heart of the city, and the intimacy with nature at such heights: the rising sun, the moon and stars, the migrating flocks of birds. Fazlur Khan was always clear about the purpose of architecture. His characteristic statement to an editor in 1971, having just been selected Construction's Man of the Year by Engineering News-Record, is commemorated in a plaque at the Onterie Center in Chicago: “The technical man must not be lost in his own technology. He must be able to appreciate life; and life is art, drama, music, and most importantly, people.”

Whitaker Lab 303, Lehigh University, 5 E. Packer Avenue, Bethlehem, PA

1 PDH will be awarded to eligible attendees for each lecture

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