One Bryant Park, New York
by Michael J. Crosbie
In the heart of Manhattan, across from the expansive Bryant Park at 42nd Street and Avenue of the Americas, is a landmark new skyscraper — a triple landmark, based on its sustainable and energy-saving design, its crystalline form, and its sheer size.
The new Bank of America Tower is the second-largest building in New York in terms of square footage, after the Empire State Building (which has nearly twice the number of floors). The new tower is also second only to the Empire State in height, with a mast rising about 150 feet (46 meters) taller than the Chrysler Building's spire.
The Bank of America building has tremendous bulk — 2.2 million square feet (200,000 square meters) on a two-acre (0.8-hectare) lot — making it the largest development site in Midtown. Yet the building appears like a slender piece of ice, jutting up with an elegantly fractured surface that suggests a crystal emerging from the depths of New York's glacial past.
The new building was conceived from the start as a landmark, according to project architect Serge Appel of Cook + Fox Architects, which designed the core and shell and the interior public spaces, working with executive architect Adamson Associates Architects. Bank of America had no signature headquarters for its New York operations, and wanted a new home that made a statement.
The bank and its development partner, the Durst Organization, also wanted to make a statement about sustainable, energy-efficient design. "They wanted the highest-performing building that we could build," explains Appel, recalling the project's commencement in the early 2000s. LEED Platinum certification was set as the goal for the core and shell, and LEED Gold for the interiors of the reconceived Henry Miller's Theatre on 43rd Street, which was incorporated into the project. The building received its certifications in May, when it also officially opened.
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