JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in the United States, has unveiled plans for its new global headquarters, which will be a 60-story skyscraper powered entirely by renewable energy.
According to Foster + Partners, the architects behind the design, the 1,388-foot-tall tower will be New York’s largest “all-electric” building when it is completed in 2025.
The stepped form of the tower can be seen soaring over Midtown Manhattan in a series of digital renderings released last week. JPMorgan Chase and Foster + Partners said in a joint press release that the skyscraper will have “net zero operational emissions,” thanks in part to power from a state hydroelectric plant.
Other energy-saving design features include triple-glazed windows and water storage and reuse systems that can cut water consumption by 40%. The tower will also employ “intelligent building technology,” such as sensors to track and reduce energy consumption.
Work on the site, which was once home to the 708-foot Union Carbide Building, has already begun. According to the architects, 97 percent of the materials used in the tower’s predecessor will be “recycled, reused, or upcycled.” The new design also includes a public plaza and widened sidewalks, more than doubling the amount of ground-level outdoor space at the address.
Norman Foster, the celebrated British architect who founded Foster + Partners, described the tower as a “new landmark that responds to its historic location” in a statement. “The one-of-a-kind design rises to the challenge of respecting Park Avenue’s rhythm and distinctive streetscape while accommodating the city’s vital transportation infrastructure below,” he is quoted as saying. “The result is an elegant solution in which architecture is structure and structure is architecture, embracing a new vision that will serve JPMorgan Chase now and in the future.”
The dedication comes just months after former New York Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation prohibiting the use of fossil fuels in all new residential and commercial structures beginning next year. By 2027, all new buildings in the city must be fully electric, according to the legislation.
Meanwhile, through the proposed All-Electric Buildings Act, New York legislators are considering new state-wide rules. New York State senator Brian Kavanagh and assembly member Emily Gallagher introduced the bill in 2021, claiming that it will reduce the state’s carbon emissions by millions of tons while ensuring that low-income residents have access to affordable power.
According to city officials, buildings account for roughly 70% of New York’s greenhouse gas emissions.
JPMorgan Chase appears to be putting its weight behind in-person work, despite reports of an exodus from New York City during the pandemic: The new tower has a floor space of 2.5 million square feet, which is four times that of the old Union Carbide Building, and can accommodate up to 14,000 employees. The design includes air filtration systems, a health and fitness center, indoor greenery, and “touchless” technology, among other “wellness” features.
The project, which is located at 270 Park Avenue, is part of a larger plan to transform a 78-block stretch of New York’s Midtown East. The neighborhood was rezoned in 2017, with Mayor Bill de Blasio promising “major upgrades to subway stations, more expansive space for pedestrians, investments in its iconic landmarks, and a new generation of office buildings” at the time.