Foster + Partners unveils design for new JPMorgan Chase headquarters in New York

Located at 270 Park Avenue in Manhattan, the building has been conceptualised as the city’s first all-electric tower, with a program that prioritises employee wellness and sustainability.

by Jerry ElengicalPublished on : Apr 25, 2022

British architectural practice Foster + Partners has unveiled its vision for the new global headquarters of US-based multinational investment banking corporation, JPMorgan Chase & Co, in New York. Located at 270 Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, surrounded by a number of skyscrapers and architectural landmarks, it is expected to be the city’s first all-electric tower with net-zero operational emissions, and will rise to a height of 423 metres over 60 storeys on its projected completion in 2025. The project is part of New York City's Midtown East rezoning plan and will replace the company’s former headquarters, which was initially designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill for Union Carbide in 1960 and subsequently became the tallest voluntarily demolished building in the world in 2021. Hosting a varied program that will build on the legacy of its predecessor, the new tower will integrate green spaces, a street level public plaza, and 2.5 million square feet of flexible and collaborative workspace.

01 min watch Video walkthrough of 270 Park Avenue concept by Foster + Partners | 270 Park Avenue | Foster + Partners | STIRworld
Video walkthrough of 270 Park Avenue concept by Foster + Partners Video: Courtesy of Foster + Partners

Norman Foster, Founder and Executive Chairman of Foster + Partners, states in an official release, "270 Park Avenue is set to be a new landmark that responds to its historic location as well as the legacy of JPMorgan Chase in New York. The unique design rises to the challenge of respecting the rhythm and distinctive streetscape of Park Avenue, while accommodating the vital transport infrastructure of the city below."

270 Park Avenue is expected to be New York City’s largest all-electric skyscraper with net-zero operational emissions and powered solely by renewable energy | 270 Park Avenue | Foster + Partners | STIRworld
270 Park Avenue is expected to be New York City’s largest all-electric skyscraper with net-zero operational emissions and powered solely by renewable energy Image: © dbox / Foster + Partners

As per Foster + Partners' vision for the project, the tower’s design will rise along a series of setbacks, with a unitised triple pane curtain wall system featuring diagonal bracing. In devising this stepped profile, the firm sought to create a timeless new addition to the already stellar lineup of landmark buildings that adorn the course of Park Avenue. "The result is an elegant solution where the architecture is the structure, and the structure is the architecture, embracing a new vision that will serve JPMorgan Chase now and well into the future,” remarks Foster. While celebrating New York’s heritage of iconic skyscraper architecture, Foster + Partners envisioned the new building as a symbol for the next generation of high-rise office buildings in the city.

Night view of the tower design towards the client centre | 270 Park Avenue | Foster + Partners | STIRworld
Night view of the tower design towards the client centre Image: © Foster + Partners

"The designs for 270 Park Avenue emerged from an intense process, where architects, designers and specialist teams – in London and New York – worked in close collaboration with JP Morgan to understand the way they work, ensuring the designs embodied the true spirit of innovation that is at the heart of everything they do,” shares Nigel Dancey, Head of Studio at Foster + Partners, in a press statement. Said to be capable of housing 14,000 employees, the new tower will also boast far more external public space than its predecessor, in addition to sidewalk areas, amenities, and a plaza with green space bordering Madison Avenue. In this sense, the firm sees the design as a notable upgrade on JPMorgan Chase’s earlier base of operations.

The new building will house up to 14,000 employees, offering 2.5 times more outdoor space on the ground level of Park and Madison Avenues | 270 Park Avenue | Foster + Partners | STIRworld
The new building will house up to 14,000 employees, offering 2.5 times more outdoor space on the ground level of Park and Madison Avenues Image: © dbox / Foster + Partners

Furthermore, the building's base will be hoisted 24 metres above the ground at street level, offering visual connectivity between its Park Avenue entrance, and the neighbouring stretch of Madison Avenue beyond. An inventive structural design system which includes triangular bracing and a fan-column system will help reduce the building’s footprint, allowing it to gently touch the ground at its base. According to the design team, the majority of the building materials from the demolished structure will be reused in the new tower, as part of the sustainable design considerations that went into the project’s conceptualisation.

The lobby at 270 Park Avenue uses a state-of-the-art structural system with an innovative fan-column structure and triangular bracing that allow the building to touch the ground lightly across the entire block | 270 Park Avenue | Foster + Partners | STIRworld
The lobby at 270 Park Avenue uses a state-of-the-art structural system with an innovative fan-column structure and triangular bracing that allow the building to touch the ground lightly across the entire block Image: © Foster + Partners

On this theme, the building is expected to obtain 100 per cent of its operational energy needs from a New York State hydroelectric power plant, in living up to its unveiling as the city’s first all-electric tower. Additionally, it will also be fitted with intelligent building technologies equipped with AI and machine learning systems that will aid in forecasting, adapting, and optimising energy usage throughout the structure’s life cycle. To manage water usage in tandem, the building’s design will incorporate advanced storage and reuse systems, as a means of maximising operational efficiency.

  • Located above the trading floors, the three-storey ‘Exchange’ is the social heart of the tower | 270 Park Avenue | Foster + Partners | STIRworld
    Located above the trading floors, the three-storey ‘Exchange’ is the social heart of the tower Image: © LightField London
  • The design also incorporates biophilic elements as part of its prioritisation of employee wellness, hospitality, and sustainability | 270 Park Avenue | Foster + Partners | STIRworld
    The design also incorporates biophilic elements as part of its prioritisation of employee wellness, hospitality, and sustainability Image: © LightField London

With a focus on ensuring a work environment that prioritises employee health and wellness, JPMorgan Chase is also partnering with Dr. Joseph Allen, Director of Harvard University's Healthy Buildings program alongside Dr. Deepak Chopra, and Union Square Hospitality Group’s Danny Meyer to create an unparalleled hospitality experience for users. In a press release, Joseph Allen notes: “Designed with a health-first mindset in all aspects, this project proves you can have both excellent indoor air quality for occupants, while also addressing sustainability goals that improve the health of the community by reducing impacts on the planet." Cutting-edge HVAC systems, a state-of-the-art wellness centre, flexible column-free floor plates, biophilic design elements, and a large modern food hall are all features of the project that developed as a result of this collaboration. Placed above the trading floors, the building will also host a three-storey communal space dubbed the 'Exchange', described as the social heart of the high-rise structure.

  • Foster + Partners’ design strives to create a new landmark on New York’s Park Avenue | 270 Park Avenue | Foster + Partners | STIRworld
    Foster + Partners’ design strives to create a new landmark on New York’s Park Avenue Image: © dbox / Foster + Partners
  • Paying tribute to the city’s heritage of iconic skyscraper designs, the tower is expected to serve as a symbol for the next generation of office buildings in Manhattan | 270 Park Avenue | Foster + Partners | STIRworld
    Paying tribute to the city’s heritage of iconic skyscraper designs, the tower is expected to serve as a symbol for the next generation of office buildings in Manhattan Image: © dbox / Foster + Partners

Project Design Collaborator and Founder of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism Vishaan Chakrabarti, concludes in a statement: "270 Park Avenue will earn its place among Manhattan's revered Jazz Age skyscrapers. JPMorgan Chase's new headquarters is a great example of New York's resilience and rebirth."

Project Details

Name: 270 Park Avenue
Location: New York, USA
Client: JP Morgan Chase & Co.
Architect: Foster + Partners
Design Team: Norman Foster, Nigel Dancey, David Summerfield, Kirsten Scott, Mike Jelliffe, Jeremy Dworken, Justin Boyer, William Gordon, Nicola Scaranaro, Annamaria Anderloni, Maro Riga, Mayoor Javeri Jagjiwan, Daniel Martinez, Patrick Delahoy, Esma Karkukli, Sergio Gomez, Javier Gonzalez Adalid, Kris Gratze, Pepe Pozo, Christopher Ireland, Wenwen Wang, Jorge Periera, David Rodrigues, Carolina Romero, Byungkyun Kim, Elena Petrova, Troy Zezula, Ashwin Lakhani, Daniel van der Poll, Thomas Tumelty, Alejandro Guerrero Neira
Architect of Record: Adamson Associates Architects
Development Advisers: Tishman Speyer
Design Collaborator: Vishaan Chakrabarti
Structural Engineer: Foster + Partners Engineering Team (Competition Concept), Severud (Design and Engineer of Record)
MEP Engineers: JBB
Sustainability: Foster + Partners (Competition Concept), Socotec
Cost Consultant: Linesight
Main Contractor: AECOM Tishman
Vertical Transportation: EWCG
Façade Consultant: Heintges
Façade Maintenance: Entek
Civil: Philip Habib + Associates
Wind and Ice: RWDI
Landscape Consultant: Ken Smith Workshop
Lighting Designer: Tillotson Design Associates
Code Consultant: CCI
Geotechnical Engineer: Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers

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