Thornton Tomasetti completed schematic design for a 32-story residential tower and podium on the coast of the Caspian Sea. We are providing structural engineering services to Heerim Architects & Planners for the project, which consists of an approximately 157-m tower with 168 residential units and a four- to eight-story podium structure with retail space, an ice rink, cinema and below-grade parking. Located in a severe seismic zone, the tower features a dual structural system that provides lateral resistance and stability with a centralized reinforced-concrete core and externally located perimeter moment frames which independently resist 25% of seismic force. The foundation system is pile-raft cast directly on grade and 1.5-m diameter piles, which, due to poor soil conditions, descend 55 meters. Because no comprehensive building code exists for the region, the biggest project challenge was adapting a building code and selecting the seismic ground motion. Construction is scheduled for completion in 2013.