A Closely Coordinated Ballet of Steel: 30 Hudson Yards, New York City
Session: G: Structural Engineering Award: Part 1
Principal, Thornton Tomasetti, Inc.
The anchor of the 17-million-square-foot (1,579,352 square-meter) Hudson Yards mixed-use development, the 30 Hudson Yards tower—and the adjoining retail podium—were built atop a rail yard. The location required new foundations and columns to be threaded between the tracks, and transfer systems to be developed to support the building and retail podium on open spans over the tracks.
The project’s design of transfer and outrigger trusses also played an essential role. The columns were sloped over five stories through mechanical spaces in the lower part of the building. This effectively created mega-trusses that transferred building columns on a grid to the allowable landing spots between the tracks. In many locations, multistory transfer-truss systems were extended into the retail podium, which meant that the two buildings had to be constructed as one.
The tower and the structurally adjoining retail podium required numerous creative, complex, and innovative solutions. The transfer systems and modular components developed were key to the project’s resounding success. To meet the aggressive schedule, all the steel connections were integrated into the design process and delivered as a three-dimensional, fully connected model directly to the fabricators, allowing them to move immediately into shop drawing production. At major outrigger nodes, the design used solid steel sections to minimize fabrication costs, and the project’s team worked together to marry the strength, toughness, and weldability requirements with the metallurgy of the blocks. The use of these nodes localized at the column joint avoided very expensive build-up details and provided a compact geometry, without any interference with adjacent shafts.