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Free Lecture: Building the Impossible

Tuesday, October 22, 2013, 12 - 2pm

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The San Jose International Airport; Fentress Architects<br /><br /> CenturyLink Field in Seattle, WA; Ellerbe Becket in association with Loschky Marquardt & Nesholm Architects
The San Jose International Airport; Fentress Architects

Architects are exploring forms and aesthetics that were impossible to realize as recently as ten years ago. From the swoopy curves of Frank Gehry’s Experience Music Project to the crisp angularity of the Rem Koolhaus Seattle Central Library, architects are truly exploring the boundaries of what modern building technologies can support.

Seattle Central Library; Rem Koolhaas and Joshua Prince-Ramus, architects

This presentation by Jon Magnusson, a civil engineer and Senior Principal at Magnusson Klemencic Associates, will explore the way many “impossible dreams” were conceptualized, designed, and built. Projects to be examined include the Seattle Central Library, the San Jose International Airport designed by Fentress Architects and CenturyLink Field in Seattle, designed by Ellerbe Becket in association with Loschky Marquardt & Nesholm Architects. Each of these projects succeeded by creating a different set of engineering solutions ranging from inventing new structural systems to advanced construction methodology to seismic isolation. The presentation will finish with a look to the future with another generation of exotic architecture pushing technology forward.

Jon MagnussonJon Magnusson is Senior Principal at Magnusson Klemencic Associates consulting structural/civil engineers with offices in Seattle, Chicago, Shanghai, and Riyadh. The 175-person firm has provided engineering services for projects in 47 states and 51 countries. Mr. Magnusson is a licensed professional engineer in 24 states. He is a Fellow in IStructE, an Honorary Member of the national American Institute of Architects, a Distinguished Member of ASCE, and was recently honored by the American Institute of Steel Construction with a Designer Lifetime Achievement Award.

This lecture, organized by the Civil Engineering Department of the Albert Nerken School of Engineering, has been generously funded by the Steel Institute of New York.

Located in The Great Hall, in the Foundation Building, 7 East 7th Street, between Third and Fourth Avenues

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.