A revised plan for the seismic retrofit of 680 Folsom Street in San Francisco features a 14-story pivoting structural concrete spinal column, inspired by the Japanese pagoda's "shinbashira," writes Nadine Post. "The system changes how a building will react in an earthquake," said Tipping Mar President Steven Tipping, the project's structural engineer. "The Japanese discovered this [behavior] about 1,500 years ago."

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