Images credit Ryan Browne
Cook + Fox's Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park in New York was the first skyscraper to attain LEED Platinum, and is loaded with green gizmos from high-tech glass to slag concrete to co-generation to a giant Calmac icemaker that makes ice at night and cools by day. About the only thing it doesn't have is parking. It has been called the greenest skyscraper ever built, although I previously wondered Can an All-Glass Office Building Really Be Considered Green? After watching a video about it, I think the answer is probably yes.
Ryan Browne of Cook + Fox wrote to tell me that it is much more than just another glass tower, that it is " focused on health, well-being, and themes of Biophilia". He directed and filmed the video with David Sundberg of Esto, home of the great Ezra Stoller, the east coast's Julius Shulman.
Biophilia is a term used by Edward O. Wilson to describe "the connections that human beings subconsciously seek with the rest of life" or as the architect Richard Cook defines it, "people feel good when they feel connected to nature."
It is certainly a building that you want to fondle. The stone used is a Jerusalem stone, full of ammonites and other fossils.The elevator lobby is leather clad.
Cook concludes "The ultimate goal are buildings that are not just less bad, but buildings that make the world a better place." Who knows; people don't think warm and fuzzy thoughts about the Bank of America these days, but perhaps working is such a building makes its bankers less bad too.
Watch a bigger version at Cook + Fox on a delightfully minimalist website.
More on green skyscrapers:
Top Ten Green Skyscrapers