Swiss Bank Tower   < previous project | next project >
New York, NY (475,000 SF)

Designed as the United States headquarters for Swiss Bank, this 36-story, mixed-use office building is sited mid-block immediately behind the landmarked Saks Fifth Avenue department store, and directly across from Rockefeller Center. The tower is clad in flat limestone panels with a pattern of punched recessed windows, a design that respects the surrounding context - it continues the store's classic motifs on the street facades while acknowledging Rockefeller Center with its own modern front. The chamfered corners recall those of the Saks Fifth Avenue store, and the design, utilizing smooth Indiana limestone cladding, is compatible with the historic landmark and traditional materials of New York's famed Fifth Avenue.

The tower’s first nine stories provide expansion space for the adjacent Saks flagship store, with office space for the bank and other tenants filling the top 26 levels. The 475,000 square foot interior includes sophisticated fiber optic and security systems. A small entrance on 50th Street leads to a large, dramatic sky lobby and conference center on the 11th floor, which greets visitors with an impressive view of the spires of St. Patrick’s Cathedral directly across the street.

The Saks Fifth Avenue expansion also included two sub-basements, at and below grade level, and a 60-foot long truck elevator, which allows six trailer trucks to park simultaneously below grade. Blasting was done under the escalators and required sophisticated monitoring devices in the historic St. Patrick's Cathedral to assure protection for the landmarked structure.