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The John Hancock Tower, more commonly known as the Hancock Place or simply The Hancock, had its turn as Boston, Massachusetts? tallest building and enjoyed the crown for thirty years. However, along with the honor was a controversy on its architectural weaknesses as well as its proximity to the well-kept Historical Landmark, the Trinity Church. A public clamor opposes the plan of the structure when they were informed that the building?s shadow will cast its shadow on the church. Nevertheless, the tower?s design almost perfected what others tried to accomplish, a minimalist and consistent monolithic skyscraper.

It comes as no surprise that in 1977, the American Institute of Architects bestowed the National Honor Award to the architectural firm that built the glass edifice and granted an AIA Twenty-five Year Award just recently.

The Hancock is a 60-story, 790-foot masterpiece made of reflective blue tinted glass fa?ade that replicates the blue sky during the day and moon light and darkening during the night. The completion of the John Hancock tower marks a milestone in United States? architectural history. Ever since Mies Van Der Rohe put forward the idea of creating a glass skyscraper that would redefine the cityscape of Berlin, putting up towering, thin glass buildings became the ultimate goal of many architects. Several attempts were made including that of Gordon Bunshaft and his work on the Lever House and Mies? Seagram Building, both located in New York City. Another architect Frank Lloyd Wright tried to achieve this through the Johnson Wax Headquarters. However, as talented as they may be, many of their blueprints sustained traditional structural elements which did not give rise to a uniform, monolithic appearance.

Then in 1972, all of these attempts were surpassed when Cobb came up with the design of the John Hancock Tower which is the pioneering skyscraper to truly possess a monolithic look. The resulting structure is an architectural gem which pushed the boundaries of skyscraper architecture to new frontiers with a minimalist and avant-garde iconic building.

All throughout the creation of the John Hancock Tower, minimalism was there. The biggest glass panels were utilized to achieve the oneness of the structure and spandrel panels were totally thrown out while the use of mullions was kept to the minimum. Cobb also added a twist to his design by employing a parallelogram form in his blueprint which gave the tower a more modern touch. This particular technique created the visual of very sharp corners from all angles that the building is viewed.
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City: Boston
County: Suffolk
Address: 200 Clarendon Street, Boston, MA
Zip: 02116
Category: Building
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