September 16, 2020

Beyond The Pane: The Engineer Behind Some Of The U.S.’ Most Impressive Glass Structures

A glass walkway suspended hundreds of feet above the ground. Cylindrical aquarium viewing walls made of glass and holding back tons of water. Glass staircases that appear to float in midair.

If you’re an architect or a designer planning something ambitious with glass, your first call very well might be to Terry McDonnell.

Though McDonnell has engineered plenty of well-known skyscrapers, train stations and amusement parks, he’s made a niche for himself in the world of structural glass. He’s worked on iconic structures such as Chicago’s Willis Tower and Seattle’s Space Needle.

When architects imagine innovative ways to use one of the most beautiful and versatile building materials available to them, McDonnell helps make their ideas real.

“I enjoy structural engineering because I get to tell people, ‘Yes, you can do that,’ about some of their wildest dreams,” said McDonnell, who recently joined the structural engineering and building envelope teams at Chicago-based firm Klein & Hoffman. “Every day, we work diligently and responsibly to figure out how to get project solutions to ‘yes.’”

Bisnow chatted with McDonnell about some of his iconic projects, what he’s working on now and the role glass will play in the future. Read more at: BISNOW.COM