The Bank of America Tower is one of the tallest buildings in New York City, and today, we will examine this tower in some detail. We will discuss the Bank of America building’s history, the height of the structure, the Bank of America Tower’s architecture, and the architects who designed it. Let’s get started and have a look at the Bank of America Tower and see what we can learn!
Table of Contents
- 1 A Look at the Bank of America Tower
- 2 Frequently Asked Questions
A Look at the Bank of America Tower
|Architect||Cookfox Architects and Adamson Architects|
|Date Constructed||2004 – 2009|
|Materials Used||Concrete, steel, and glass|
|Height||370 meters (1,200 ft)|
|Location||1111 Avenue of the Americas, New York City, United States|
The Bank of America Tower is a skyscraper located in New York City, and it is one of the ten tallest buildings in the city. However, it has not managed to make its way into the top five. With regards to the purpose of the tower itself, it houses the offices of the titular Bank of America along with a few other offices.
The Bank of America does operate out of about 75% of the building though, and so the name is an understandable one.
One of the more interesting things about the Bank of America Tower is that it uses the address 1 Bryant Park, but the issue is that there is no 1 Bryant Park, and its actual address is 1111 Avenue of the Americas (also known as Sixth Avenue). For this reason, the 1 Bryant Park address that is often used is considered to be a vanity address under the laws governing city planning. This is a rather quirky and small detail about this skyscraper in New York. Bank of America certainly wanted to retain some level of connection with the nearby, and well-known, Bryant Park.
The Bank of America Tower’s History
When was the Bank of America Tower built? Well, the site itself has a history that predates the Bank of America Tower by quite a number of decades. One of the earliest structures that existed on the site that now holds the Bank of America building was a historic theater known as the Henry Miller Theater. This opened its doors in 1918. However, over the years, it became apparent that something new could be constructed in this very same location.
The Durst Organization, which is an old and famous real estate company in the metropolis, acquired land in the area in the 1960s.
However, they could not acquire the entire plot at the time because of various property owners in the region. This came to an end when a plan was developed and decided in the early-2000s. One of the prominent members of the Durst family proposed a plan to design a tower, and he went on to buy out the remaining pieces of land until he had secured the entire site in 2003. The Durst Organization may have wanted to develop the structure, but they needed someone to sign an agreement to be an anchor tenant and retain offices within the proposed tower in New York. Bank of America ultimately decided to sign this agreement and planning was soon underway. The Durst Organization hired two architectural firms, Cookfox Architects and Adamson Associates, to design the new Bank of America building.
Bank of America Tower construction site on Sixth Avenue, New York City; No machine-readable author provided. Jaxl assumed (based on copyright claims)., CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
One of the most prominent aspects of the design of the Bank of America Tower, which will be discussed in more detail below, is the dedication to an ecological approach to the design of the structure. This design would ultimately lead to the building attaining a platinum LEED certificate. This is the highest possible green building certificate that can be attained. However, in recent years, it has actually exceeded emission limits and may no longer be as eco-friendly as it was upon completion.
The construction of the structure began in the latter half of 2004 and only came to a conclusion in 2009.
When the Bank of America Tower was completed, the mayor of the city, Michael Bloomberg, and the Governor of the state, David Paterson, attended the opening ceremony. The final cost of the building was about $1 billion, and this made it one of the most expensive buildings to construct at the time of its completion. Ever since then, the Bank of America Tower has become known as one of the first sustainable skyscrapers, but it lost that title after its emissions started to peak.
There have been a variety of smaller incidents that have occurred throughout its near decade and a half existence, at the time of writing, but these have been predominantly smaller issues. Nothing particularly major has occurred in the remainder of the history of the Bank of America Tower, but it still stands as one of the tallest buildings in the city and an important structure in the history of sustainable skyscraper architecture.
Bank of America Tower Architecture
The Bank of America Tower’s architecture incorporates a number of different styles within its walls. There are various elements from the Modernist architectural tradition, such as in the functionality and general simplicity of the design of the skyscraper. In addition to this, there are certain Postmodern elements in its sustainable and urban contextual elements, and this is supplemented with some aspects of Deconstructivist design, such as in some of the asymmetrical aspects of its design.
However, perhaps the most notable feature of the Bank of America Tower is that it makes use of various sustainable architectural practices.
Some of the most notable of these features include methods for water and energy conservation as well as making use of material efficiency, a green roof design to reduce stormwater runoff, a gray water system, and even its own means of generating electricity. As for the actual design of the structure itself, the Bank of America Tower makes use of a crystalline façade style that reflects light, the façade is also curved to reduce wind pressure, and it makes use of a spire that operates as both a broadcast antenna and a lightning rod.
In terms of its exterior on the ground level, it includes a pedestrian walkway and there are a number of commercial structures around the base of the building. As for the interior of the Bank of America Tower, it includes 55 floors of office space, a winter garden, and its own theater.
All of these elements together contributed to the Bank of America Tower attaining the award for the Best Tall Building by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat the year after construction came to an end.
The Bank of America Building’s Height
The height of the Bank of America Tower is one of its most notable features. The full height of the tower is 370 m (or 1,200 ft). This makes it fall within the top ten tallest buildings in New York City. It is specifically located at number eight on that list. In addition to this, as the vast majority of the tallest buildings in the United States are located in New York City, this also makes it one of the tallest structures in the country. However, in terms of the country, it is the tenth tallest building.
At the time of the Bank of America Tower’s construction, it was one of the earliest skyscrapers of such incredible height to have attained a LEED Platinum certificate for sustainable design. This means that while the height itself is quite an impressive aspect of the design of the Bank of America Tower, the sustainable architecture along with the height has contributed to putting this Bank of America building on the historical map of eco-friendly design.
The Bank of America Building’s Architects
There are two architectural firms that had a hand in the development of the Bank of America Tower. The first of which is Cookfox Architects. This firm was founded by Rick Cook and Robert F. Fox, and as a result, it was originally called Cook+Fox Architects. However, a rebrand has settled on the far more adorable present name. The Bank of America Tower is likely the most famous building that this particular architectural firm has had a hand in designing, but it certainly hasn’t been the only one as the company is also often involved in adapting old structures to new uses (as well as designing new structures).
The other architectural firm involved in the design of the Bank of America Tower was Adamson Associates.
This architectural firm is based in Toronto and was founded by Gordon Sinclair Adamson. This firm has dealt with a variety of structures over the course of its existence, but most of its work has been in Ontario. The Bank of America Tower is likely the most famous of this firm’s architectural output too. Apparently, these two architectural firms worked closely with one another to ensure that they were designing one of the most efficient and eco-friendly skyscrapers that ever existed. Their work was a primary reason for the Bank of America Tower ultimately receiving the LEED Platinum certificate that it received.
The Bank of America Tower is one of the newer additions to the famous New York City skyline, and while it does not quite reach the same heights as some of the tallest buildings in the city, it is still in the top ten. Today, we have discussed the building’s history, the Bank of America Tower’s architecture, and the architects involved in its design. Hopefully, you have learned a good deal about this nearly fifteen-year-old skyscraper, but there are always more skyscrapers to learn about.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Bank of America Tower?
The Bank of America Tower is a skyscraper that was developed by the Durst Organization. The primary occupant of this skyscraper is, as the name suggests, the Bank of America. It is the tenth tallest building in the United States at the time of writing. An interesting fact about the Bank of America building is that it goes by the name 1 Bryant Park, even though that is not actually an address.
Where Is the Bank of America Tower?
The Bank of America Tower is located in New York City. There are actually a number of Bank of America buildings, but this particular one can be found in the Manhattan borough of the city. It lies beside Bryant Park, and it is from this park that it takes its vanity address. The actual address is 1111 Avenue of the Americas regardless of the other address that the building prefers to use.
When Was the Bank of America Tower Built?
Construction on the Bank of America Tower started in August 2004. The construction of the tower would continue for a further five years and would ultimately come to an end in 2009. The construction of the tower was uneventful and remained on schedule, and once the tower was done, it had become one of the first skyscrapers to receive a platinum certificate from LEED, which meant that it was one of the most eco-friendly skyscrapers upon its completion.
What Is the Architectural Style of the Bank of America Tower?
The Bank of America Tower makes use of a number of different styles within its design. It makes use of certain aspects of a Modernist functional mentality alongside certain Postmodern architectural features, such as certain sustainable elements. In addition, there are certain Deconstructivist elements, such as making use of certain asymmetrical designs.
Who Are the Architects of the Bank of America Tower?
There are two architectural firms that worked on the Bank of America Tower: Cookfox Architects and Adamson Associates. These two firms supposedly worked closely with one another to ensure that the Bank of America Tower attained an eco-friendly design that could make it one of the history-makers in terms of sustainable skyscraper design.
Justin van Huyssteen is a freelance writer, novelist, and academic originally from Cape Town, South Africa. At present, he has a bachelor’s degree in English and literary theory and an honor’s degree in literary theory. He is currently working towards his master’s degree in literary theory with a focus on animal studies, critical theory, and semiotics within literature. As a novelist and freelancer, he often writes under the pen name L.C. Lupus.
Justin’s preferred literary movements include modern and postmodern literature with literary fiction and genre fiction like sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, and horror being of particular interest. His academia extends to his interest in prose and narratology. He enjoys analyzing a variety of mediums through a literary lens, such as graphic novels, film, and video games.
Justin is working for artincontext.org as an author and content writer since 2022. He is responsible for all blog posts about architecture, literature and poetry.
Cite this Article
Justin, van Huyssteen, “Bank of America Tower – Redefining Skylines.” Art in Context. September 1, 2023. URL: https://artincontext.org/bank-of-america-tower/
van Huyssteen, J. (2023, 1 September). Bank of America Tower – Redefining Skylines. Art in Context. https://artincontext.org/bank-of-america-tower/