The Comcast Innovation and Technology Center in Philadelphia. Rendering by DBOX / Courtesy Foster + Partners (left), Andrew Blasetti / Thornton Tomasetti (right).
Thornton Tomasetti provided structural design services for a 59-story, mixed-use building, adjacent to the existing Comcast Center. The 1.5-million-square-foot project houses research and development spaces, serving as an incubator for new apps, software and services. The top 12 stories functions as a luxury hotel, with more than 200 rooms and amenities that include a spa, fitness center, event space and a rooftop restaurant.
The 1,121-foot tower features a glass façade, glass elevators, a 360-degree view of the city and atriums with green space every three floors. Rail transportation and the Comcast Center will be easily accessible via a subterranean concourse. In addition, there will be two levels of below-grade parking. A winter garden plaza is accessible at the street level.
The building’s significant features include an asymmetrical split structural concrete core with steel-framed floors and columns, exposed structural steel throughout and a 120-foot illuminated lantern at the top of the building. Thornton Tomasetti collaborated closely with the architect to find the right balance of aesthetics and structural efficiency when designing the numerous exposed steel connections.
Thornton Tomasetti’s construction engineering services were an added advantage to this project. Before construction began, Thornton Tomasetti partnered with the general contractor to tackle challenges faced by the construction team. These included climbing form systems, crane and hoist supports, and alternative detailing strategies for the concrete contractor, saving the contractor time and material and contributing to a safer work site.
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