JPMorgan Taps Architect for Tower Replacement
JPMorgan Chase is moving along with its plan to knock down its 705-foot-tall, 52-story home to make way for a new building that’s slated to be 500 feet higher. The company just announced that U.K.-based firm Foster + Partners will serve as the lead architect on the project.
In February, the company announced its intention to demolish the iconic 270 Park Avenue skyscraper, which was designed by Natalie de Blois and Gordon Bunshaft of architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and completed in 1961.
The project is slated to be the world’s largest building to be deliberately destroyed.
Equipped with steel ribs, glass panels and black spandrels, 270 Park Avenue also features a two-level lobby that was designed as a workaround for the railroad tracks that ran underneath the structure from Grand Central Station. To create this, columns had to be sunk between the tracks, and the elevator block had to be placed above ground.
Despite undergoing renovations to be brought up to LEED Platinum standards in 2012, the company says that the structure no longer suits the company’s needs, as it is not large enough to house their growing workforce. Currently, 6,000 employees are working in a building intended for 3,500.
The new skyscraper, also slated to be fully LEED-certified, would both provide an additional 1,000,000 square feet of space and room for another 9,000 employees. Construction of the tower would also reportedly create 8,000 construction-related jobs while the structure was being built.
Though designs for the new building have not been released to the public yet, JPMorgan says that it hopes to start construction next year, pending plan approval. A provisional completion date of 2024 has also been set.
The plan is not without criticism. Earlier this year, architecture critic Paul Goldberger said he was “speechless” in light of the news, and fellow critic Justin Davidson also said that demolishing “one of the peaks of modernist architecture in the name of modernity is obscene, a sign that you consider your city disposable.”