World’s Most Environmentally Responsible High-Rise Office Building

Builders Break Ground on ‘World’s Most Environmentally Responsible High-Rise Office Building’

Source GreenBiz.com

NEW YORK, Aug. 4, 2004 –

Bank of America and The Durst Organization have broken ground on the construction of the Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park, a 945-foot-tall crystalline skyscraper that will rise in Midtown Manhattan. Located on the west side of Sixth Avenue, between 42nd and 43rd Street, the high-rise office tower is scheduled to open in 2008.

Bank of America Tower will serve as the headquarters for Bank of America?s operations in New York City, and house its global corporate and investment banking, wealth and investment management and consumer and commercial banking businesses. The bank will occupy roughly half of the 2.1 million square foot structure. The unique size of the building?s footprint will enable Bank of America to operate six major trading floors there, ranging in size from 43,000 to 99,000 square feet.

“The magnificent new Bank of America Tower is the latest chapter in the revitalization of Bryant Park and will strengthen New York City’s position as the financial capital of the world,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “This bold and dynamic project will create nearly 7,000 construction jobs, and over the next 25 years, 3,000 new jobs that will generate more than $1 billion in tax revenue for the City. Our 5-borough economic development strategy is making the City more livable and business-friendly so that businesses locate here, and the creation of this new 52-story building shows that it is working. I would like to thank Bank of America and the Durst Organization for their commitment to this important project and to New York City.”

Environmentally Conscious Architecture

Upon completion, Bank of America Tower will be the world?s most environmentally responsible high-rise office building and the first to strive for the U.S. Green Building Council?s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum designation. The project incorporates innovative, high-performance technologies to use dramatically less energy, consume less potable water and provide a healthy and productive indoor environment that prioritizes natural light and fresh air.

?By providing an opportunity for one of the world?s foremost financial service institutions to increase its commitment to New York, the Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park already is making an important contribution to New York and demonstrates to the world the vitality of our city,? said Douglas Durst, co-president of The Durst Organization. ?We look forward to a long, mutually satisfying relationship and to creating not just a spectacular visual experience, but also the most environmentally responsible building possible.?

Located on the largest development site in Midtown Manhattan, the Bank of America Tower will house the 1.1-million-square-foot headquarters for the New York operations of Bank of America and the 50,000-square-foot restored and reconstructed Henry Miller Theater, as well as 1 million square feet of office space for other tenants. The $1 billion project — co-developed by Bank of America and The Durst Organization — will rise adjacent to The Durst Organization?s flagship tower, the Cond? Nast Building at Four Times Square. Bank of America has committed to a 20-year lease for its space.

The Design

Designed by Cook+Fox Architects, LLP of New York, the glass, steel and aluminum skyscraper is inspired by the building’s unique site within its immediate location and its broader urban context. The faceted crystal design of the tower features unique sculptural surfaces with crisp folds and precise vertical lines that are animated by the movement of the sun and the moon. The transparency of the building, with its floor-to-ceiling windows, provides evocative views both from and through the space. From the building’s base, which accommodates the surrounding complex pedestrian and transit circulation, to the overall massing, continuing up to the tip of the spire, the design responds to the built environment of Midtown Manhattan.

?The transparent faceted surfaces of the building function as a permeable membrane for shifting qualities of perception and light,? says Richard Cook, partner at Cook+Fox Architects. ?Embodied within this clear glass skin is something organic in nature, something which echoes not only the kinetic movement and energy from the streets below but also the dynamic and crystalline structure of forms encountered in the natural world.?

The design for the Bank of America Tower is inspired by the building?s unique site within its immediate location and its broader urban context. From the building?s base, which accommodates the surrounding complex pedestrian and transit circulation, to the overall massing, continuing up to the tip of the spire, the design responds to the built environment of Midtown Manhattan.

The exterior wall of the tower will be a clear glass curtain-wall to complement the building?s faceted crystal design. The building?s form is sculpted to provide a south-facing surface to address its prominent relationship to Bryant Park and permit views into and out of the structure.

?Green? Considerations

With an emphasis on sustainability, water efficiency, indoor environmental quality, and energy and atmosphere, the Bank of America Tower will be constructed largely of recycled and recyclable building materials. It will feature a wide range of sophisticated environmental technologies, from filtered under-floor displacement air ventilation to advanced double-wall technology and translucent insulating glass in floor-to-ceiling windows that permit maximum daylight and optimum views. It also will include a state-of-the-art onsite 4.6-megawatt cogeneration plant, providing a clean, efficient power source for the building’s energy requirements.

The Bank of America Tower will save millions of gallons of water annually through such innovative devices such as a gray-water system to capture and reuse all rain and wastewater, while planted roofs will reduce the urban heat island effect. Taking advantage of heat energy from the cogeneration plant, a thermal storage system will produce ice in the evenings, which will reduce the building’s peak demand loads on the city’s electrical grid. Daylight dimming and LED lights will reduce electric usage while carbon dioxide monitors automatically introduce more fresh air when necessary. By fundamentally changing the way buildings are conceived, Bank of America Tower will lead the change in the way high-rise buildings are built.

Reconstructed Henry Miller?s Theater

At the direction of Bank of America and The Durst Organization, Cook+Fox Architects will restore and reconstruct the historic Henry Miller?s Theater, with the goal of creating a state-of-the-art Broadway playhouse that captures the intimacy and proportions of the original 1918 Allen, Ingalls & Hoffman Theater. The Georgian-style land marked fa?ade will be preserved and restored, the oval reception room, doors and decorative plasterwork, including the iconic urns marking the 43rd Street entrance, will be salvaged and incorporated into the new design.

The seating will be increased to 1,000, the majority of which will have a prime location at orchestra level. A sophisticated acoustics system will be integrated, as well as a larger orchestra pit and a fully functional fly-tower and scenic loading facilities. Other new amenities will include improved public circulation, box office and concessions areas, with a spacious lobby bar at the orchestra level, a bar and caf? at the ground level, a restaurant on the upper mezzanine and a significant increase in women?s restrooms.

The new theater also will be fully handicapped accessible with 20 wheelchair-viewing positions. In addition, the theater will have an auxiliary exhibition space — an adjacent through-block pedestrian passageway that provides views into the theater and includes a special documentary style multimedia presentation exploring the life and times of the historical Henry Miller playhouse.

Public Amenities

With approximately three times the public circulation space required by an as-of-right high-rise office building, the Bank of America Tower will accommodate and contribute to the surrounding pedestrian and transit circulation. Public amenities will include widened sidewalks, public street furniture and an urban garden room located at 43rd Street and Sixth Avenue, which serves as an inviting extension of Bryant Park.

The design also incorporates a new glass-enclosed subway entrance with wider stairs and an elevator at 42nd Street on the southeast corner of Sixth Avenue. An underground pedestrian walkway on the north side of 42nd Street will link the B, D and F subway lines to the Times Square station and a new mid-block subway entrance on 42nd Street will connect to the below-grade walkway, in addition to a special through-block passageway featuring a ?Broadway Wall of Fame? with interactive information kiosks.

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