Weaving Structure into Architecture:
Design & Construction Challenges in Lakhta Center, St. Petersburg

Tue, Apr 27, 2021
Lakhta Center

Ahmad Abdelrazaq


Executive Vice President, Samsung C&T Corp

Design for constructability and delivery of high performance of supertalls has been a prime concern of Ahmad Abdelrazaq. Having begun his career in the Chicago office of SOM in 1987, where his project portfolio included the Jin Mao Tower and the Hotel De Artes in Barcelona, Ahmad joined Samsung in 2004 and went to work as the Chief Technical Director of the Burj Dubai Project, collaborating with the architects and engineers at SOM on the evolving design for the world’s tallest building, later renamed Burj Khalifa. For that project he developed an award-winning real-time structural health monitoring program, embedding more than 2,000 instruments and survey programs to correlate and verify design assumptions with actual tower behavior.

Based in Seoul, Abdelrazaq is Senior Executive Vice President at Samsung C & T Corporation where he heads the Highrise Building and Structural Engineering Divisions. Since joining Samsung, in addition to Burj Khalifa, he has been involved in the design and construction planning of several local and international projects including Samsung HQ office, the proposed 151-story Incheon Tower, 360 West, Mumbai, and Tanjong Pagar in Singapore. He has also held operational positions as Executive Project Director of the Merdeka 118 in Kuala Lumpur and the Lakhta Center in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Ahmad’s lecture will focus on his work on the Lakhta Center, at 462 meters, the tallest building in St. Petersburg and in Europe. The iconic shape of the tower is composed of five individual “leaves” or “petals” that twist and taper as they rise and rotate 90 degrees from base to pinnacle. The unique form presented complex challenges for design and construction, leading to opportunities to improve the original design and develop a new outrigger structural system with significant cost and time benefits.

Ahmad received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Texas at Austin. He served as an adjunct professor at IIT from 1990-2004 and since 2005 at Seoul National University where he teaches Tall Building Design.

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The video begins with Ahmad Abdelrazaq's lecture, followed by Q&A with Museum Director Carol Willis, whose introduction to the webinar is included after the discussion.