NEW YORK—Poised to become the second tallest building in the world and featuring structural design by Thornton Tomasetti, 151 Incheon Tower—a 151-story mixed-use tower in Incheon, South Korea—broke ground last month. Land at the development site is currently being reclaimed and the pile foundation will be put to tender shortly.

151 Incheon Tower will feature 30 floors of commercial offices, a 300-key hotel, residential apartments and urban condominiums, observation levels at floors 118 and 119, and sky restaurants at the top of the tower. The tower has a five-story retail and parking podium with two basement levels. At nearly 2,000 feet, it is expected to stand second in height only to Burj Dubai in the Middle East. John C. Portman, Jr., design visionary for the project, explains, "The tower’s place as a gateway influenced its form in a gesture that greets the world with open arms, expressing peace, unity, and openness, and identifying Incheon and Korea to the world."

"This landmark tower will symbolize Incheon and Korea. I hope this project delivers a better standard of living and more jobs for the city and the country as a whole," commented South Korean President Lee Myung-bak at the groundbreaking event.

The building will be the centerpiece of a 1,500-acre, new planned community called Songdo Landmark City, which will be the gateway city for visitors arriving to Songdo across the new Incheon Grand Bridge, currently under construction.

Structural features of 151 Incheon Tower include three, four-story sky bridges spanning the 57 to 60, 84 to 87, and 116 to 119 floors. Challenges presented by the project include wind load and foundation design. The primary lateral load-resisting system is a concrete core wall at the center of the tower with mega columns integrated with outrigger bridges. The 151-story tower will be supported by 2.5-meter-diameter RCD piles driven about 50 meters deep.

Designed by international architects John Portman & Associates, 151 Incheon Tower is being developed by a consortium led by Portman Holdings in partnership with Samsung C&T Corporation, Hyundai E&C, and SYM-Associates. Completion is scheduled for 2014.

Image courtesy of John Portman Associates.