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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