Construction of the World Trade Center
Clip: Season 16 | 2m 7s
The foundations themselves presented the first challenge. They would have to descend through 70 ft. of water-logged landfill before reaching bedrock. The greatest challenge by far, however, lay in the engineering of the towers themselves. The solution, developed by the structural engineers John Skilling & Leslie Robertson in the mid-1960s, was to re-conceive the basic structure of tall buildings.
Problems Playing Video?
Map history with us! See how engineering has changed America with our new map!
Improvements in elevators and the creation of structural steel made skyscrapers possible.
The design & construction of the towers marked a dramatic break with skyscraper tradition.
The unprecedented height and size of the towers posed a new kind of challenge: wind.
Unlike earlier skyscrapers, the twin towers were erected in huge prefabricated components.
Engineers had to consider all possible events that might happen in a high rise building.