We’ve the Zenith in Busan, South Korea. Courtesy Doosan E&C (left) and Halohoon (right).



The tallest residential tower in Asia broke ground in December 2007 and is rising on the waterfront in South Korea’s second largest city, Busan. At 80 stories, the tallest of three towers in We’ve the Zenith forms the centerpiece of a 572,534-square-meter mixed-use development, which includes a retail podium and six basement levels used to house retail, parking, and mechanical facilities. The complex features a total of 1,788 units.

Exposure to typhoons has been the biggest engineering challenge in the project’s design. The team needed to design the structures to withstand sustained winds of 90 miles per hour and gusts to 105 miles per hour. The towers present a smooth rounded face to the wind, making them more aerodynamic to reduce wind forces. Also helping to improve stability and comfort for occupants is the building’s wide stance with an aspect ratio of nearly 1:7. The efficient design of the core wall, which is butterfly-shaped in cross section, maximizes building stiffness while minimizing the amount of material.

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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.