Saturday, September 9, 2017

10 Jack Christiansen Structures

John V. "Jack" Christiansen passed away on Aug. 16, 2017, though his body of work in the world of concrete thin-shell engineering and in engineering, in general, will live on for many years to come.

Jack was one of the notable few who received the coveted Eduardo Torroja Medal in "recognition of outstanding and distinguished contributions to design, construction or research of shell and/or spatial structures," the highest individual recognition given by the Association of Shell and Spatial Structures.

Below are ten of the structures Jack was involved with during the design and/or engineering:

  • The United States Science Pavilion (Pacific Science Center) for the 1962 World’s Fair
Image: The arches of the U.S. Science Pavilion, in the Seattle World's Fair of 1962. 

  • Seattle First National Bank Building
Image: Seattle First National Bank building, 1969. 

  • Rainier Bank Tower
Image: Rainier Tower from the 48th-floor sundeck of Washington Mutual Tower, August 1, 2008. Two Union Square is in the background. 

  • Seattle Museum of Flight
Image: The main display area of the Museum of Flight, located at Boeing Field, Seattle, Washington. Source: Wikimedia Commons

  • Washington State Convention and Trade Center
Image: Inside the Washington State Convention and Trade Center. 

  • Seattle Kingdome (demolished in 2014) -- The largest clear span concrete dome in the world at 661 feet and site of the first Structural Engineers’ World Congress in 1998.
Image: The exterior of the Seattle Kingdome. 
Below is a video of the Kingdome's demolition in 2014:


  • New York City’s World Trade Center structure (destroyed 9/11/2001)
Image: Battery Park City and the former Twin Towers at the World Trade Center NYC. 

  • Green Lake Pool in Seattle -- The world’s largest intermediate thin-shell cylindrical barrel at the time of construction.
Image: Green Lake Community Center, Green Lake Park, Seattle, Washington. 

  • Rivergate Exhibit Facility in New Orleans -- Recognized for design.
Image: The Rivergate in New Orleans. 
Source: Postcard

  • The Yakima SunDome
Image: The Yakima Sundome. 
Source: Cacophony

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