The glass and steel landscape of midtown Manhattan is an archetype for corporate spaces—inside and out. So when a foreign banking institution took over a 22,000-square-foot space in New York as its U.S. headquarters, it appointed Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel Architects (GKV) to give it presence while keeping in the city’s architectural vernacular.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s U.S. headquarters comfortably fits into the New York corporate scene with its sleek minimalist interiors and abundance of glass—from windows and glass partitions to office walls. This scheme not only enhances transparency, but also maximizes daylight. GKV used acid etching and laser-cut vinyl to embellish the transparent walls as well as create semi-privacy.
State-of-the-art audiovisual systems for the boardroom and a large-scale video wall in the reception area keep the office connected with the fast-paced world of investments. Unexpected features, such as a dining room for meetings and events and a centrally located open pantry, maximize the floor while keeping functions flexible. The trading floor—central for most any financial institution—is situated on a raised floor with planters resting below the window, harvesting light behind the glass windows and bringing elements of the outdoors in.
GKV still managed to imbue the interiors with an international feel to remind guests that this is, after all, a foreign institution. The architects specified a black and white palette to emphasize international style, and added colorful notes, such as scarlet-red seating, which complements the bank’s character.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia, U.S. Headquarters DESIGNER
Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel Architects WHERE
New York CLIENT
Commonwealth Bank of Australia WHAT
22,000 square feet COST/SQ. FT.
Withheld at request