First Commercial Bank Headquarters
“Clumsy” and “awkward” described the existing 1974 office building which occupied a highly visible site along a major thoroughfare in suburban Birmingham. It had a blunt boxer–like nose that could not simply be covered with a hat or a clock. The Owner’s objective was to create Class A multi-tenant office space, and the building required transformation at three levels: one, to improve overall appearance from adjacent Highway 280; two, to have more appeal and a sense of “place” at the pedestrian level; and three, to bring coherence to the interior.
The biggest challenge was to keep 90% of the structure and still transform its essential proportions and character. Recladding alone was not the answer. The designers had to create an element that made the old building appear new. This was accomplished by introducing a small triangular structure to the building’s nose that integrated the blunt end into the mass. Texture, shadow, depth, and material changes helped transform the recladding into a comprehensive solution, and the brick served as a fabric to neatly fold around the building.
Vision Award for Continued Excellence/Horizon 280 Association Merit Award/AIA Energy Conservation Award/American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers Winner, Design Competition/South Central Bell Honor Award/AIA National Energy Conservation Award Honorable Mention/Owens-Coming Fiberglass Corp Progressive Architecture/Published Engineering News Record/Published Southern Building Magazine/Published New Products and Processes/Published