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



When it rises 600 meters above land reclaimed from the Yellow Sea, the Incheon 151 Tower will be the tallest building in South Korea. The building splits at the 44th floor into two interconnected trapezoidal sections to create a distinct silhouette.

This mixed-use tower will include 30 floors of office space, a 10 level hotel, observation decks, and 95 floors of residential and condominium units. The structure consists of a concrete core and super-columns connected by mega-outriggers. The two halves of the tower are 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 are an important aspect of the architect’s aesthetic vision, but at the upper levels this shape intensifies wind loads caused by vortex shedding. Thornton Tomasetti’s 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. 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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