Client: Portman Holdings
Location: Atlanta, USA
Completion date: 2000
Howard M. Brandston
H.M. Brandston &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp; Partners
John Portman and Associates
SunTrust Plaza is a 60-story, 1.4 million sf office tower that anchors the north end of Peachtree Center in downtown Atlanta and has become an icon on the city skyline. The facades are rich granite with grey glass reinforcing the faceted form. The plan is square with alternating projections stepping in and out to create 36 corner offices per floor, making it the ideal corporate headquarters building.
The exterior plazas, water features and green space surrounding SunTrust Plaza become a public sculpture garden for the entire community to enjoy. Inside, the multi-story atrium lobby acts as an art gallery, displaying sculpture and paintings for public enjoyment. From his very first commission, John Portman has championed the integration of art and architecture. In this case, as both the project's architect and developer, he was able to fully execute his vision and, in the process, present a gift to the city of Atlanta.
All of the works included in SunTrust Plaza have close ties to John Portman. In fact, many are by John Portman himself. Others are by artists that he has worked with throughout the years, such as Charles Perry and Elbert Weinberg. In the case of the monumental statues that grace the front plaza, John Portman sought permission from Paul Manship's estate to rework one of his pieces and recreate it much larger. The result is Ballet Olympia, which pays homage to Atlanta's hosting of the 1996 Olympic Games.
On a sunny day in Atlanta (if it's not too scorching hot), you'll find clusters of office workers seated all around the plazas and green spaces of SunTrust Plaza, enjoying a little sunshine on their lunch hours and watching tourists snap photos of the sculptures. The atrium lobby gallery space has become popular as a place to host special events, dinners and even weddings amid the artwork.