FMC Tower at Cira Centre South in Philadelphia. Courtesy Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects.

FMC Tower at Cira Centre South



Thornton Tomasetti provided structural design services for the FMC Tower at Cira Centre South. This 47-story, one-million-square-foot tower features offices, luxury residential units and corporate suites and street-level amenities and retail. The building is located next to the 30th Street Station, making the building easily accessible by public transportation.

The building’s design includes a structural transfer from the base of the steel office structure to the upper concrete residential component. The design team determined that the unique combination of cast-in-place flat slab construction on the upper residential levels with conventional steel-framed office floors below provided the most efficient and cost effective design that also met the project schedule. Thornton Tomasetti’s design employed sophisticated modeling and analysis to predict vertical movement of the disparate materials to maintain acceptably level floors throughout the building.

The tower’s footprint extends 60 feet over the Pennsylvania Railroad Yard tracks. Coordinating the building structure with the Amtrak rail lines and the complex geometry of the building itself resulted in a design with multiple sloping and stepping columns. Thornton Tomasetti’s design anticipated the necessary forces to stabilize the skewed columns to coordinate the structure with these difficult design requirements.

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