Minoru Yamasaki

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Yamasaki, Minoru (1912–86). American architect of Japanese descent. He and his partners George Francis Hellmuth and Joseph Leinweber made their names with the Lambert Airport Terminal Building, St Louis, MO (1953–6), the main concourses of which are covered by intersecting concrete-shell barrel-vaults. His grim public housing, Pruitt-Igoe, St Louis (1950–8), won several architectural awards, but made history by being detested by those living there (it suffered several arson attacks), and was demolished in 1972, an event many have seen as the beginning of Post-Modernism as a reaction against the Modern Movement. Later buildings tended to have screen-like elements in the façades that disguised the structural grids. Profiled concrete blocks were used for this purpose at the American Concrete Institute, Detroit (1958), and metal grilles at the Reynolds Metals Regional Sales Office, Southfields, MI (1959). With Emery Roth & Sons he designed the twin-towered World Trade Center, NYC (1946–74—de-stroyed 11 September 2001). He wrote A Life in Architecture (1979).


Wi Curtis (1996);
Kalman (1994);
Heyer (1978);
van Vynckt (ed.) (1993);
Yamasaki (1979)

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Minoru Yamasaki (mĬnō´rōō yämäsä´kē), 1912–86, American architect, b. Seattle. Yamasaki worked for prominent architectural firms in New York City from 1937 until 1949, when he formed his own company. In 1951 he designed the Lambert–St. Louis Municipal Air Terminal, an impressive concrete groin-vault construction. In his design (1954) for the U.S. consulate general in Kobe, Japan, Yamasaki adapted elements of the Japanese aesthetic. His interest in ornament and sculptural form is revealed in buildings for the American Concrete Institute, the Reynolds Metal Company, and the McGregor Memorial Community Conference Center, Wayne Univ., all in Detroit. Yamasaki's design for the U.S. science pavilion at the Seattle Exposition, 1962, is famed for its soaring arches and Gothic tracery. His other major works include the Plaza Hotel, Los Angeles (1966), and the Eastern Airlines Unit Terminal, Boston (1968). He was a chief designer of the vast World Trade Center complex, New York City, which was destroyed by a terrorist attack in Sept., 2001.