Project Feature: Centene in Charlotte

July 8, 2021

Centene is a truly unique structure. Surrounded by a wooded area, the architect aimed to integrate the building into the natural landscape.


A lot of thought went into this project before it even began! The general contractor, architect, and Lithko coworkers focused on every detail that was likely to come into play on such an unusual project. Cost, logistics, design, and safety were all discussed before activity started on the jobsite.

“Diving Boards”

These platforms will be surrounded by glass and create an open feel between the different floors of the building. We anticipate that the space may be used for offices, small conference rooms, or break areas.


The “floating stairs” are supported only at their connection to the slab at each floor and present a visually appealing solution to a practical need. Our team put in four sets of stairs throughout the two office towers by pouring a flight every four days while meeting a Class A finish criteria.


You may notice metal poles supporting the first through third floors and wonder why they’re not straight. This detail is meant to contribute to the tree theme by looking similar to tree trunks and branches. The poles support a 10’ cantilevered slab and are truly an engineering feat. The slabs are not self-supporting and required temporary shoring until the metal poles were installed.


The 30’ and 60’ building cantilevers were supported with heavy duty shoring towers, which sat on a specifically designed foundation system. After all necessary steel struts were cast in the levels above, the cantilever was raised slightly, simultaneously at all support locations. This brought the cantilever slabs in the predetermined elevation and allowed for final welding between the steel struts and their support plates at the columns. After completing the welding operation, the cantilevers were released into their final positions.

The foundation of the building had to be thick and sturdy enough to support six levels with some shoring towers transferring up to 1.9 million pounds of load into the ground. Interestingly, part of this foundation will ultimately be removed to allow for installation of other design features.

There is artistry involved in the way the concrete was finished at the walls poured with formliners. Take a close look at the texture of the wall!

Unique Challenges

To help hold the significant weight of the cantilevered slabs, steel plates were connected by pouring directly into the columns. This approach combined the individual materials into strong, cohesive units.


Nice job, Charlotte BURG! We can’t wait to visit this stunning space.

Learn more about this exciting project!