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New York
Michael Squarzini
We really could've picked any sports metaphor—Thornton Tomasetti has found a niche in the whole sector; the engineering design firm is behind Yankee Stadium, Prudential Center in Newark, the new Meadowlands, and even the structure for the 2014 Gulf Cup of Nations in Basrah, Iraq. We sat down with senior principal Michael Squarzini, who tells us that the firm is also involved in the full design of Forest City Ratner’s Barclays Center (along with Ellerbe Becket and SHoP Architects), which will bring the New Jersey Nets to Brooklyn’s Atlantic Yards.
South Korea’s Incheon 151 Tower
John Portman & Associates
Given the recession, many developers have focused on early stage feasibility studies instead of moving forward with full design commitments, Michael says. But foreign work has been a boon; on the sports side, TT has been focusing on Brazil’s successful Olympic bid, and consulting on some of the world’s tallest buildings, including China’s Shanghai Tower and South Korea’s Incheon 151 Tower(above). Medical and hospital projects are also doing well, he notes, both internationally and domestically. At home, it’s completing UPenn's therapy center, and is involved in the early design stages of some major area hospital expansions.
Thornton Tomasetti is placing a greater focus on sustainability—the company’s more than 180 LEED-APs, including Michael, account for 10% of structural engineers accredited in the world. Also on the radar: its approach to Integrated Project Delivery, an efficiency model that is attracting interest on the West Coast and has gained national momentum. Michael says the firm is taking a leadership position in IPD similar to its approach to BIM years ago. (You won’t find a t-square or graphing tables in the office, unless they’re digital.)