Tianjin CTF Finance Centre – Structural Engineering

A dramatic, undulating profile distinguishes this 530-meter-tall tower as a new landmark in the growing Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area (TEDA). The tower's design is a synthesis of architectural, structural, and functional requirements. It contains high-end office spaces, apartments, and a five-star hotel, arranged to match the optimum spans for each of these uses—with longer lease spans for the office floors, and shorter spans to maximize views at the apartment and hotel levels. The structural design is also optimized for wind engineering and cladding panelization.

The composite structural system is composed of a central reinforced concrete core, a perimeter moment frame consisting of structural steel spandrel beams, and a sloping column and belt truss system. Each system is shaped to complement and coordinate with the architectural massing, while balancing the ductility and stiffness required for the tower's location in a high seismic zone. The tapering building shape, along with a porous crown and multiple wind vents, significantly improves building performance and acts as a pseudo-eccentric brace system. The diagonalized zones allow for increased stiffness at the base of the building to meet stringent Chinese dual-system code requirements, while the vertical zones create regions of high ductility to dissipate seismic energy and mitigate earthquake forces. These elements also channel gravity loads to counteract lateral loads, effectively using the building’s own weight to resist seismic and wind forces.

By optimizing and fine-tuning the structural design, SOM's integrated architecture and engineering team dramatically reduced the steel quantities required for construction. These material savings further reduced seismic forces due to decreased mass, eliminated the need for a damping system, and considerably reduced construction time and cost. The Tianjin CTF tower is a striking fusion of structural and architectural expression, utilizing an innovative structural system and creative detailing to deliver a strong, efficient, high-performing, and cost-effective design.