BankBoston, the oldest North American bank in Brazil, commissioned SOM to design and engineer a 30-story corporate headquarters in Sao Paulo’s upscale Ponte Morumbi district. The building, designed to accommodate a workforce of 3,000, was essentially created from the inside out, with functional requirements dictating size and shape. The BankBoston Headquarters represents what SOM refers to as “interior informed architecture."
The tower was designed, first of all, to incorporate the traditional range of banking functions with a trading floor, private banking facilities, an executive floor, employee cafeteria, and auditorium. The goal of the design was to create a highly versatile and efficient floor plan that provided each bank employee with a 100-square-foot workspace. A premium was placed on flexibility, both in terms of enabling the bank to reconfigure its own spaces, as well as enabling it to easily split off floors for leasing. This requirement led to a structural system that results in 21-meter, clear-span floors that allow for easy and economical reconfigurations.