This paper provides an insight into the numerical simulation of soil–structure interaction (SSI) phenomena studied in a shaking table facility. The shaking table test is purposely designed to confirm the ability of the numerical substructure technique to simulate the SSI phenomenon. A model foundation–structure system with strong SSI potential is embedded in a dry bed of sand deposited within a purpose designed shaking-table soil container. The experimental system is subjected to a strong ground motion. The numerical simulation of the complete soil–foundation–structure system is conducted in the linear viscoelastic domain using the substructure approach. The matching of the experimental and numerical responses in both frequency and in time domain is satisfying. Many important aspects of SSI that are apparent in the experiment are captured by the numerical simulation. Furthermore, the numerical modelling is shown to be adequate for practical engineering design purposes.