Incheon 151 Tower in Songdo Landmark City, South Korea. Rendering courtesy John Portman & Associates.



Thornton Tomasetti provided design services through schematic design for a mixed-use tower that included 30 floors of office space, a 10-level hotel, observation decks, and 95 floors of residential and condominium units. The structural design called for a concrete core and super-columns connected by mega-outriggers. The two halves of the tower would have been tied together by a trio of pedestrian bridges containing steel truss outriggers to create greater resistance to wind and seismic forces.

The tower’s sharp edges were an important aspect of the architect’s aesthetic vision, but at the upper levels this shape intensifies wind loads caused by vortex shedding. Our structural team worked closely with the architect and a wind tunnel consultant to develop a form that is both structurally efficient and consistent with the design vision: a series of open slots on four corners. Splitting at the 44th floor into two interconnected trapezoidal sections, the four-level-high openings create an alternative path for wind, improving aerodynamic performance while enhancing the structure’s visual appeal.

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Tall & Supertall

For decades, our engineers have been pioneers in systems for tall and supertall buildings. From the development of the stressed-tube skin system in the 1980s to our unique design for Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Tower – slated to be the world’s tallest building when it’s completed – we have explored new ways to improve upon tall building design and construction.

In recent years, towers have become taller and more visually exciting, creating new structural challenges. Our knowledge and experience, augmented by leading-edge analytical and design tools, are invaluable in providing designs that are safe, comfortable, economical, sustainable and constructable.

With a portfolio that includes three previous “world’s tallest” buildings and more than 100 other high-rises, Thornton Tomasetti has unparalleled experience in tall and supertall building design around the world.