The Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park in midtown New York, designed by Cook + Fox Architects, is the first commercial high-rise to achieve LEED Platinum certification. The design and high performance of this building is intended to set a new standard for commercial construction and for the office-work environment. By focusing on ways to emphasize daylight, fresh air and a connection to the outdoors, the architects redefine the parameters of the skyscraper as more than a glass box.
Architects: Cook + Fox Architects, LLP
Location: New York, NY
Client: Bank of America at One Bryant Park, LLP, a joint venture between The Durst Organization and Bank of America
Completion: May 2010
SF Executive Architect: Adamson Associates Architects
Mechanical Engineer: Jaros, Baum & Bolles
Structural Engineer: Severud Associates
The 55-story, 2.2 million square foot project is a new addition to the towering blocks around Bryant Park in midtown and its dense context already challenges the role of the architecture. Cook+Fox establish a highly transparent corner entry, blending the public street with the private office building. It gives the lobby plenty of daylight and becomes a a mild threshold between the city life and the work day. Green roofs and an Urban Garden Room bring the park nearby into the architecture and, combined with the natural lobby materials, emphasizes the natural qualities that can be found within city life.
The form of the building deviates from its footprint, increasing the level of surface area exposed to day light and giving oriented views onto Bryant Park. Sustainable measures keep the building well insulated and protected from excess heat gain. The curtain wall is made of low-e glass and heat-reflecting ceramic frit. The building also incorporates water-saving measures such as waterless urinals, greywater recycling, and rainwater harvesting systems. The building also filters the air that is delivered to the offices and can be individually controlled. Overnight, a thermal ice-storage tank in the cellar produces ice in order to reduce peak demand on the city’s electric grid. A 4.6 megwatt cogeneration plant covers 70% of the building’s annual energy use with clean, efficient power.
With such thoughtful design decisions about the quality of the work environment and the effects of the building on the natural environment, the Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park may prove how efficient high-rise buildings can be, especially for dense urban environments as New York.