Norman Foster will design new Park Avenue headquarters for JPMorgan Chase

November 1, 2018

Via MikePScott’s Flickr

JPMorgan Chase has tapped starchitect Norman Foster to design its new 2.5 million-square-foot headquarters at 270 Park Avenue, as first reported by Bloomberg. The new 70-story tower would replace the bank’s current offices, located in the Union Carbide building. Foster + Partners designed the nearby office tower at 425 Park Avenue, as well as Apple’s spaceship-like headquarters in California.

JPMorgan Chase’s existing 700-foot tall structure will be demolished to make way for a tower that will most likely be over 1,200 feet tall, making it the largest intentionally bulldozed building in history. As 6sqft previously reported, construction is expected to begin in 2019 and take five years to finish.

First announced in February, the project is the first under the city’s Midtown East rezoning plan. Under the rezoning, landmarks can sell and transfer unused development rights within the 78-block area. JPMorgan Chase has already purchased 50,000 square feet of air rights from St. Bartholomew’s Church, with the plan to buy at least 505,000 square feet more for a total $157.8 million, the Real Deal reported.

Soon after the bank announced its plan to demolish the Union Carbide Building, architecture and preservation buffs voiced ardent opposition. The building was designed in 1960 by Natalie de Blois, an associate partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and one of the few female senior designers at that time. At 52 stories tall, the Union Carbide headquarters was one of her largest projects, as well as one of the biggest buildings erected in NY since before World War II.

Because the building is not landmarked, Union Carbide is not protected against demolition. Following the project’s announcement, architecture critic Paul Goldberger tweeted: “I am speechless: under the radar, JPMorgan Chase develops a plan to demolish SOM’s UnionCarbide, a deserving 60’s landmark, and build new. Most postwar Park Ave is junk, and they want to demolish one of its greatest bldgs bc new zoning allows bigger.”

[Via Bloomberg]


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