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Client Solutions

Special Structures

Unconventional forms. Unusual functions. Innovative materials. Moving parts. Uncommon engineering challenges are our specialty.

Special Structures At-A-Glance

Here's How

When you need a structure that’s far from ordinary, that pushes the limits of the possible, that’s truly special, you need an engineer that’s special too. Our process pairs creative inspiration with unequaled analytical capabilities. That’s how we help turn visionary ambitions into solid achievements.

At Thornton Tomasetti, we see engineering as an art as well as a science. So we approach our work with a process that’s as creative as it is collaborative. We ask questions and listen. We sketch and brainstorm. Engage diverse expertise. Hold charettes. And use our unmatched technological capabilities to unleash the potential of the best ideas.

Some special structures are stand-alone projects; others are elements of larger, more traditional programs. Many blur the usual lines between disciplines. But whatever the challenge, we’re the partner who can help you meet it.

Centerpiece Venue at the World Expo 2020 in Dubai. Courtesy Expo 2020 Dubai
Off the Cuff in Milan, Italy. Courtesy Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center in California. Thornton Tomasetti
AMG harp design staircase. Courtesy Grimshaw Architects
Stadio Della Roma in Rome. Courtesy MEIS Architects
National Building Museum Masonry Variations exhibit. Courtesy Carlos Jimenez Studio
National Building Museum Hive exhibit. Courtesy National Building Museum
World Trade Center Transportation Hub in Manhattan. Matt Hill/Wikimedia
New Man sculpture at the Sanctuary for Sufism Reoriented in Walnut Creek, California. ©Ali Atri Photography, courtesy The Sanctuary for Sufism Reoriented


We combine imaginative design with cutting-edge modeling and analysis, inventing artful solutions to the complexities of unconventional projects. Our wide-ranging in-house expertise covers everything from sustainability and kinetics to façade design and construction engineering. And we never stop inventing new ways to design and build better. Innovation is the mission of our CORE research and development groups.

As the design evolves, we focus our creativity to devising ways to make your special structure practical. Constructable. Affordable. When our multidisciplinary teams tackle a special structure, you get coordinated, integrated results that bring your singular vision to life.

shed Ajay Suresh/Flickr
Kinetic Movement for The Shed

Our Team

News & Resources

Exploring New Ideas for Greening the Skyline
October 31, 2023
Thornton Tomasetti’s façade engineers were part of a team that developed a concept for a terra-cotta and moss screen for curtain wall systems designed with help from AI.