Sometimes, a skyscraper isn’t just a skyscraper. It’s a community gathering space, a building that offers respite from typical stale indoor office environments, a model of sustainability for others to follow, a breathing--but not living--entity. PNC Bank’s new 33-story global headquarters, set to be built in Pittsburgh, is that place.
Today’s "green" high-rises can be placed in two categories, according to Hao Ko, a senior associate and design director at Gensler and the lead on the PNC project. They’re either bicycles that use onsite resources and are only as big as the site will allow, or they’re hybrid SUVs, basically just normative high-rises that have fancy technology added to make them high-performing.
Bicycle buildings like the Cascadia Center Bullitt Foundation and the Council House 2 can only climb six to eight stories, while hybrid SUV buildings like One Bryant Park don’t have a great MPG, to keep the analogy going. Ko hopes that the Tower at PNC Plaza can be like the Tesla of the green skyscraper world: slick, fun to drive, and efficient, too.
Ko defines a green building a little differently than most people: It’s a building that isn’t just energy efficient, but people-focused as well. In a sense, that takes a building beyond just sustainability into the realm of resilience, where having connections to neighbors and the larger community is key. READ MORE >>