One Bryant Park is a 1,200 ft skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan. The US$ 1 billion project is located on Sixth Avenue, between 42nd and 43rd Street, opposite Bryant Park. Measure to its pinnacle, it is currently the second tallest building in New York City, after the Empire State Building, and the fourth tallest building in the United States. It was been designed by Cook+Fox Architects to be one of the most efficient and ecologically friendly buildings in the world. The tower's architectural spire is 255.5 ft tall. The building is 54 stories high and has 2,100,000 square feet of office space. Its final height was reach upon the placement of its spire in December 2007. The building will have three escalators and a total of 53 elevators — 52 to serve the offices and one leading to the transit mezzanine below ground.
The design of the building will make it environmentally friendly, using technologies such as floor-to-ceiling insulating glass to contain heat and maximize natural light, and an automatic daylight dimming system. The tower also features a greywater system, which captures rainwater and reuses it. The building was made largely of recycled and recyclable materials. Air entering the building is filtered, as is common, but the air exhausted is cleaned as well.
The mixture used in the tower concrete is 55% cement and 45% slag. The use of slag cement reduces damage to the environment by decreasing the amount of cement needed for the building, which in turn lowers the amount of carbon dioxide greenhouse gas produced through normal cement manufacturing. One ton of cement produced emits about one ton of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Sustainability is a cyclical concept knowing that there is no finality to the life of any process or product. Rather it is merely the prelude to another use or stage of existence. In order to minimize the impact of new construction it is vital to use materials that decrease the net lifecycle costs of the project including the material that comes in and the waste that goes out. One Bryant Park managed to surpass its goal of recycling 75% of its construction waste to end at 83%. Additionally, with materials such as concrete with blast furnace slag and 60% recycled steel, the building contains 35% recycled content.
One way to tackle energy savings is by incorporating efficient fixtures for workplace illumination. One Bryant Park chose to tap into more daylight for workspaces, evident by its clear exterior. By using baked frit to reflect light outside of the main vision plane, each floor has floor to ceiling glass that allows light to penetrate deeper into spaces and minimizing the need interior lighting and providing views of the city.
In many ways One Bryant Park stands as what will hopefully become a new standard in high rise, urban development. Like any successful ecology, all parts of the building process must be in concert in order to create a product of such caliber. From client, to tenant, to designers and builders, all components of creation and use were necessary to reach such an outcome.