Srinivasa Iyengar, known as Hal, was born in 1934 in French Rocks, India, son of a civil engineer who expected his son to follow in his footsteps. Hal, after earning two engineering degrees and working briefly at a less than challenging job, decided to accept a research assistantship at the University of Illinois Chicago. After three years Hal decided to get a job in 1960 and was fortunate to be hired by SOM, where he worked for the next 32 years. The group that Hal most often worked with was that of Bruce Graham and Fazlur Khan, a team that produced innovative award-winning buildings such as Sears Tower and Hancock Center. Like Fazlur Khan, Hal was interested in exploring the evolution of structural systems that had application in tall buildings. Hal taught at Washington University, St. Louis, and the University of Illinois, Chicago; wrote and published numerous articles; delivered many papers at conferences; and has been awarded various fellowships and achievement awards. After retiring from SOM in 1992 Hal continued doing consulting work. He now splits his time between his summer home in Vermont and winter home in Florida.
Iyengar speaks about his family and early education; his first engineering job that sent him back to school for further training; obtaining a research assistantship at the University of Illinois Chicago; using early computers; working at SOM; working with the Fazlur Khan and Bruce Graham team; exploring the structural in various building systems; working with Walter Netsch and Myron Goldsmith; rational and irrational architecture; the Hancock Center and Sears Tower; overseas work; McCormick Place II; evolution of structural systems; and working with Frank Gehry.
Sears Tower, Chicago, IL, 1974 Photo by Ezra Stoller. Copyright, Esto; Courtesy, Esto
Guggenheim, Bilbao, Spain, 1997 Courtesy, SOM
"The period between 1963 and 1980 was a period where a lot of systems evolved. And there was this systems evolution that I talked about. And the amazing thing was that we were able to fit each one of the systems, and make it a reality in a kind of a sequence. We started with the frame building at the BMA, and then it went on to Brunswick building; and then the One Shell Plaza building in Houston, and One Shell Square in New Orleans. And then the Hancock building and Sears Tower in Chicago. Each one of them were part of this evolution. And they used a different structural system to bring about higher efficiencies as the buildings went taller. So, this was the notion that Faz started in the 1960s, that the amazing thing was that he was not going to be able to recognize it early on, but be able to realize it in his own lifetime. So it's a very significant thing." (pp. 151-52)
BP Bridge, Millennium Park, Chicago, IL, 2004 Photo by Peter Barreras; Copyright, Peter Barreras; Courtesy, SOM
19 hours 32 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago OCTOBER 14—Join us for After Dark in the Modern Wing!
See the groundbreaking exhibition Moholy-Nagy: Future Present with special tours and late-night access. And check out live performances by Phebe Starr and Campdogzz, plus DJ sets from Shaka 23.
Attendees must be 21+. Hosted by The Evening Associates of the Art Institute of Chicago.
23 hours 36 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago Each Thorne Miniature Room is a tiny window to a larger world.
In Drawing Rooms, see the tiny rooms scaled to life-size. Remix and decorate them with drawings, then create your own miniature space—now available in the Ryan Learning Center's Interactive Gallery.