The Bank of America building is one of the newest towers to join the downtown Houston skyline. Located 12 stories above the top of the building’s garage structure is a 24,000 SF sky garden — a shared amenity space that features framing views of the city’s iconic skyline and offers a respite in the busy city.
The garden takes an organic shape that provides amenities for gathering and workplace relief, including seating opportunities under arbors that shield against the Houston sun and glare off the tower’s eco-friendly reflective glass. The mounded landscape (created by the artful composition of insulating blocks and soil – to avoid excess structural loading) provides a planted horizon and lets one feel as if they are in a different world surrounded by the exceptional architecture of not only the Bank of America Tower but its esteemed neighbors as well (including the Pennzoil building by Philip Johnson).
In creating this garden, the landscape architect has included a rainwater collecting system for reuse in landscape irrigation. Water requirements were foremost in the selection and planning of all trees, shrubs, ground cover, and grasses. The planting design, focused on native species and species highly adaptable to low water roof applications, appeals to local bird and bee populations and complements the sculptural topography of the roof. The planting scheme also positioned plants strategically on-site to maximize irrigation efficiency. Meandering pathways pass through ornamental grasses that provide visual relief of nature in the dense urban setting, while arbors have been strategically placed based on daylight studies.
Bank of America Tower Sky Garden
Landscape Architect: OJB Landscape Architecture
Architect of Record: Gensler
Civil Engineer: Walter P. Moore
MEP Engineer: Wylie Consulting Engineers
Irrigation Consultant: HMA Consulting
Lighting Design: One Lux Studio
All Bank of America Tower photography was performed by Geoff Lyon of G. Lyon Photography