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United Tower

This new icon on Kuwait City’s skyline stands 250m tall, with 58 storeys soaring above a four-storey podium structure and two more levels of below-ground parking. In total, it comprises almost 1,000,000ft² of office, residential and retail space.

Our approach

The slender, sinuous tower presented a number of structural engineering challenges. The floorplates change in size at every floor, and are at their smallest very close to the base. The most slender profile of the building is nearly at the same point as its largest wind load.

The columns also slope at every level, introducing additional horizontal forces that vary throughout. Since the floors are post-tensioned, it was a big challenge to balance the post-tensioning stresses with the secondary stresses caused by the sloping columns.

The design called for open floorplates to provide maximum flexibility for office tenants, with no supporting columns between the core and the perimeter.

WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff devised a solution to stabilise the building by engaging the whole of the vertical structure to resist the wind loads, with extra supporting elements only at the mechanical or refuge floors where they wouldn’t impact the leasable space.