Minoru Yamasaki

Minoru Yamasaki
Minoru Yamasaki
Born December 1, 1912(1912-12-01)
Seattle, Washington, United States
Died February 7, 1986(1986-02-07) (aged 73)
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, United States
Nationality American
Alma mater University of Washington, New York University
Awards American Institute of Architects' First Honor Award
Buildings The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center
Projects World Trade Center
Design Inspiration by Gothic architecture and usage of narrow vertical windows

Minoru Yamasaki (山崎 實 Yamasaki Minoru?, December 1, 1912 – February 7, 1986) was a Japanese-American architect, best known for his design of the twin towers of the World Trade Center, buildings 1 and 2.[1] Yamasaki was one of the most prominent architects of the 20th century. He and fellow architect Edward Durell Stone are generally considered to be the two master practitioners of "New Formalism."[2]



The former World Trade Center
One M & T Plaza, in Buffalo, NY
Reynolds Metal Regional Sales Building in Southfield, Michigan
Education Building at Wayne State University
The Conservatory of Music at Oberlin College, designed by Yamasaki in 1963. The distinctive style is similar to Yamasaki's design of the World Trade Center.

Yamasaki was born in Seattle, Washington, a second-generation Japanese American, son of John Tsunejiro Yamasaki and Hana Yamasaki.[3] He grew up in Auburn, Washington and attended Auburn Senior High School.[4] He enrolled in the University of Washington program in architecture in 1929, and graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) in 1934.[5] During his college years, he was strongly encouraged by faculty member Lionel Pries. He earned money to pay for his tuition by working at an Alaskan salmon cannery.[6]

After moving to New York City in the 1930s, he enrolled at New York University for a master's degree in architecture and got a job with the architecture firm Shreve, Lamb and Harmon, designers of the Empire State Building. In 1945, Yamasaki moved to Detroit, where he was hired by Smith, Hinchman, and Grylls.[7] The firm helped Yamasaki avoid internment as a Japanese-American during World War II, and he himself sheltered his parents in New York City.[8] Yamasaki left the firm in 1949, and started his own partnership.[7] One of the first projects he designed at his own firm was Ruhl's Bakery at 7 Mile Rd. and Monica St.[9] In 1964 Yamasaki received a D.F.A. from Bates College.

Yamasaki was first married in 1941 and had two other wives before marrying his first wife again in 1969. He died of stomach cancer[citation needed] in 1986. His firm, Yamasaki & Associates, closed on December 31, 2009.[10]


His first significant project was the Pruitt–Igoe housing project in St. Louis, Missouri, 1955. Despite his love of Japanese traditional design, this was a stark, modernist concrete structure. The housing project experienced so many problems that it was demolished in 1972, less than twenty years after its completion. Its destruction is considered by some to be the beginning of postmodern architecture. [11]

He also designed several "sleek" international airport buildings and was responsible for the innovative design of the 1,360 foot (415 m) towers of the World Trade Center, for which design began in 1965, and construction in 1972. Many of his buildings feature superficial details inspired by the pointed arches of Gothic architecture, and make use of extremely narrow vertical windows. This narrow-windowed style arose from his own personal fear of heights.[12]

Yamasaki was an original member of the Pennsylvania Avenue Commission, which was tasked with restoring the grand avenue in Washington, D.C., but resigned after disagreements and disillusionment with the design by committee approach.[13]

After teaming up with Emery Roth and Sons on the design of the World Trade Center, they teamed up again on other projects including new defense buildings at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C.[14]

Structures designed by Minoru Yamasaki


See also


  1. ^ Justin Davidson (August 27, 2011). "The Encyclopedia of 9/11: Yamasaki, Minoru: An architect whose legacy didn’t work out as he’d planned". New York. http://nymag.com/news/9-11/10th-anniversary/minoru-yamasaki/. 
  2. ^ "New Formalism". Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County. http://www.musiccenter.org/about/formalism.html. Retrieved March 2011. ; excerpting from HABS documentation: "Los Angeles Music Center". Historic American Building Survey. http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?hh:1:./temp/~ammem_BvpF::. 
  3. ^ Crowley, Walt (March 3, 2003). Yamasaki, Minoru (1912-1986), Seattle-born architect of New York's World Trade Center. HistoryLink.org - The Free Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History. Retrieved July 22, 2010.
  4. ^ Casey J. Olson (Sep 8, 2011), World Trade Center architect Minoru Yamasaki wanted 'living symbol' for humanity, Federal Way Mirror, http://www.pnwlocalnews.com/south_king/fwm/news/129488198.html, retrieved 2011-09-09 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Esterow, Milton (September 21, 1962). "Architect Named for Trade Center". The New York Times. 
  6. ^ "Center Will Reflect Architectural Collaboration". The New York Times. January 19, 1964. 
  7. ^ a b Huxtable, Ada Louise (November 25, 1962). "Pools, Domes, Yamasaki - Debate". The New York Times. 
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ Interview with owner's daughter. Original architectural drawings donated to the University of Michigan.
  10. ^ Gallagher, John. "A Once Eminent Firm Meets a Bitter End", Architectural Record, 28 January 2010. Retrieved March 6, 2010.
  11. ^ Justin Davidson (August 27, 2011). "The Encyclopedia of 9/11: Yamasaki, Minoru: An architect whose legacy didn’t work out as he’d planned". New York. http://nymag.com/news/9-11/10th-anniversary/minoru-yamasaki/. 
  12. ^ Lipton, Eric (2003). City in the sky: the rise and fall of the World Trade Center. Macmillan. p. 109. ISBN 978-0805074284. http://books.google.com/books?id=yE1Pyui4GpkC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage. 
  13. ^ Huxtable, Ada Louise (February 2, 1964). "N.Y.C. Architectural Ups and Downs". The New York Times. 
  14. ^ Robbins, William (March 26, 1967). "2 Firms Are Welding Abilities to Plan World Trade Center". The New York Times. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v Vivian M. Baulch (August 14, 1998). "Minoru Yamasaki, world-class architect". The Detroit News. http://info.detnews.com/redesign/history/story/historytemplate.cfm?id=206. Retrieved 2007-11-23. 
  16. ^ "MSMS". http://www.msms.org/. Retrieved 2010-01-14. 
  17. ^ "Helen L. DeRoy Auditorium". Digital Imaging Project. http://www.bluffton.edu/~sullivanm/wayne/wayne3.html. Retrieved January 14, 2011. 
  18. ^ Carleton College Facilities Management (undated). "Historical Building Information". Carleton College. http://apps.carleton.edu/campus/facilities/property/historical/. Retrieved 2007-07-10. 
  19. ^ "Yamasaki, Minoru". architectureka.com. 2009. http://architectureka.com/yamasakiminoru.html. Retrieved 4 March 2010. 
  20. ^ Massport (undated). "2002 EDR Logan International Airport" (PDF). Massport. http://www.massport.com/about/pdf/09_Mitigation.pdf. Retrieved 2007-07-11. 
  21. ^ "Michael DiSalle Government Center, Toledo, Ohio". http://www.emporis.com/application/?nav=building&lng=3&id=128237. Retrieved January 14, 2011. 

Other references

  • Yamasaki, Minoru, A Life in Architecture, Weatherhill, NY 1979 ISBN 0834801361
  • Nobel, Philip, Sixteen Acres: The rebuilding of the World Trade Center site, Granta, London 2005 ISBN 1-86207-713-4

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Minoru Yamasaki — (* 1. Dezember 1912 in Seattle, Washington, USA; † 6. Februar 1986 in Detroit, Michigan) war ein US amerikanischer Architekt. Zu seinen bekanntesten Projekten gehörte das World Trade Center in New York. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Minoru Yamasaki — (1 de diciembre de 1912 6 de febrero de 1986) fue un arquitecto estadounidense. Nació en Seattle, en el estado de Washington, hijo de padres que habían inmigrado de Japón. A pesar de proceder de humildes condiciones y tener que costearse sus… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Minoru Yamasaki — Le World Trade Center à New York, en 2000. Minoru Yamasaki (né le 1er décembre 1912 à Seattle, État de Washington – mort le …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Minoru — is a male Japanese given name. Minoru is the name of King Edward VII s horse that won the 1909 Epsom Derby. Contents 1 Possible Writings 2 Real People 3 Fictional characters …   Wikipedia

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  • Yamasaki & Associates — is an architectural firm based in Troy, Michigan. Its founder, Minoru Yamasaki was well known for his design of the World Trade Center. External links* [http://www.yamasakiinc.com] …   Wikipedia

  • Yamasaki — Yamasaki,   Minoru, amerikanischer Architekt, * Seattle (Washington) 1. 12. 1912, ✝ Detroit (Michigan) 6. 2. 1986; gewann internationales Ansehen durch den Bau des Terminal Buildings des Flughafens in Saint Louis, Missouri (1951 56, mit G. F.… …   Universal-Lexikon

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