News & trendsArchitecture & design

Bruce Graham, a self-described Chicago architect

by Joe Zekas on 7/18/13

When he was a child Bruce Graham‘s dream was to build cities. As the Chief of Design for the Chicago office of Skidmore Owings & Merrill, Graham left an unmistakable stamp on a number of cities.

Chicagoans may not know his name, but they know his work, which includes the Hancock Center and the Willis Tower. Among its other distinctions the Hancock has been said to have represented “the resurrection of tall buildings in the United States and the world” after a decades-long hiatus from building to great heights.

Graham’s greatest impact may have been on London, where he was responsible for planning the massive Broadgate and Canary Wharf developments.

The video has some entertaining background on Graham projects. The Picasso sculpture at Daley Plaza varies from Picasso’s original design to ensure its structural soundness. “Just tell him Chicago’s a windy city. Without the changes it can’t be built,” was the message that SOM architects were sent to Europe to convey to Picasso.

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