The Banco Santander Headquarters Tower is the first phase of the WTorre JK Complex, a mixed-use development located in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Arquitectonica designed the building facade and interiors for a 973,400 SF existing structure to be fitted out as an office tower, including floor plan layouts and interior design of lobbies and a common area. This phase also includes the construction of 6 levels of underground parking, bringing the project total to 1,770,000 SF (164,340 SM).
In the heart of the metropolis’s financial district, the complex changed the landscape of the Itaim Bibi’s region – São Paulo’s traditional most expensive real state per square meter. Neighboring the property is a public park, which was donated to the city by the construction company. The building was originally designed as the headquarters for the State Energy Company Eletropaulo but was abandoned after the concrete structure was completed. The 28-story structure was known for more than ten years as “the skeleton”, an ugly spot that remained on one of the most visible sites in Sao Paulo. The new design, composed of a glass tower with a single recess on each facade, creates the illusion of four slender glass buildings. The buildings differentiate from the busy Sao Paulo skyline by the simple elegance of the design, with vertical banding that seems to reach toward the sky. Phase two of the project involved a 5-star hotel and a new retail/entertainment center, as well as additional office space.
Two additional office towers — one at 22 stories, the other at 19 stories — were built to match the sleek profile and surface treatment of the first tower with vertical aluminum ribbing and striations of gray-tinted glass.
The shopping mall lies at the bottom of the taller tower as a kind of extended base, with glistening white crystallite bays that project toward a public plaza. More than 200 luxury shops and restaurants are positioned around a four-story atrium, with clifflike balconies and cantilevered shading systems. Together, the towers and shopping mall create a sense of unity in an otherwise discordant part of São Paulo’s financial district.
Since LEED Gold was the target certification, and much of the building structure was inherited, there needed to be a significant sustainable push in terms of local materials, energy efficiency, and construction process. The building facade is composed by high energy efficient insulated glazing (double glazing) system, providing indoor low solar heat radiation transmission.
* Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) | Shortlisted Nominee for 2010 Best Tall Buildings Award
* International Property Awards, Americas Division | Mixed-Use Architecture Award