Some of the world’s biggest businesses aren’t necessarily famous for their architecturally innovative headquarters, but JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s new headquarters may change that. After all, New York City—specifically Midtown—is known for its impressive collection of skyscrapers. That said, news of yet another one joining the ranks isn’t exactly surprising, but the one shooting up at 270 Park Avenue is different: The Foster + Partners–designed structure has zero carbon emissions and is 100% powered by renewable energy, courtesy of a nearby hydroelectric plant. This new ambitious project is certainly not Foster + Partners’ first unique design that has earned the English architecture firm a good deal of fame. They’re also the creatives behind The Gherkin, in London, HSBC Hong Kong, and New York’s Hearst Tower. The firm’s newest project on Park Avenue is poised to shake up one of the world’s most famous skylines.
The 60-story building, slated to open in 2025, will be JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s new headquarters. It may not be open for a few years, but Foster + Partners is using that time to perfect its complex plans. One of the firm’s unorthodox approaches is its solution to site constraints both below and at ground level: It introduced an innovative fan-column structure and triangular bracing, so that the enormous tower can touch the ground quite lightly across the entire block. Another unexpected element of 270 Park Avenue is its elevation: 80 feet above the ground, to be exact. Not only is it more of an aesthetically adventurous choice, but it also boasts a much-welcomed benefit: The elevation extends views from the Park Avenue entrance all the way through to Madison Avenue, a rare opportunity in the city.
As for the façade, the bronze-clad building is a stunning display of sustainability, with floor-to-ceiling triple-glazed panels that feature integrated glare-control blinds. It may not sound that exciting, but, in addition to offering a highly modern look, the system allows for greater energy efficiency when it comes to heat loss and solar gain. And, in these times, when sustainability and smart energy use are paramount, 270 Park Avenue is setting a legitimate example for the new normal of modern workspaces. Plus, Foster + Partners made use of the building that stood in the new headquarters’ place, which was just half the size of the new 270 Park Avenue. They recycled, reused, or upcycled a whopping 97% of the demolition materials, massively exceeding the LEED requirement of 75%.