Minoru Yamasaki (December 1st, 1912 – February 7th, 1986) was an American architect, best known for his design of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, buildings 1 and 2. Yamasaki was a prominent architect of the 20th century, he and fellow architect Edward Durell Stone are generally considered to be the two master practitioners of "New Formalism."
Yamasaki was born in Seattle, Washington, a second-generation Japanese American. He enrolled in the University of Washington's architecture program in 1929, and graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) in 1934.
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. The firm helped Yamasaki avoid internment as a Japanese-American during World War II, and he himself sheltered his parents in New York City. Yamasaki left the firm in 1949, and started his own partnership. His firm, Yamasaki & Associates, closed on December 31, 2009, 20 years after Yamasaki himself died.
Yamasaki's most famed work was the design of the 1,360 foot (415 m) towers of the World Trade Center, for which design began in 1965, and construction in 1966. The towers were finished within six years, 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.
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