New in Downtown: Part Skyscraper, Part Food Hall, and … Part Museum
The “Great Steps” lead to the food hall at the new Bank of America Tower lead to a food hall. Phoot by Ralph Bivins, Realty News Report
HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – Bank of America Tower, the newest skyscraper in Houston, will display art on the building Milam Art Wall in conjunction with Sawyer Yards, a 55-acre creative development near The Heights.
The 35-story Bank of America Tower, 800 Capitol St., will be opening in June, according to Skanska, the developer of the 754,000-SF building. The silvery new tower also features the 35,000-SF Understory, a below-grade food hall and amenity venue with a fitness center.
“Our partnership with Sawyer Yards underscores Skanska’s commitment to reimagining Houston’s tunnel experience downtown. We are creating an engaging community destination that will reinvent the tunnel network in a way not seen before in its near 90-year history,” said Matt Damborsky, executive vice president for Skanska USA Commercial Development in Houston. “Houston’s world-class art scene is starting to rise to the same level of prominence as our globally-renowned culinary scene and this trend – combining art and food – will culminate in Understory at Bank of America Tower. Showcasing the work of artists from this vibrant local creative community will complement the unique flavors of Understory with an equally unique visual experience.”
Curated by Grace Zuñiga, Sawyer Yards creative director, the inaugural installation, titled Natural Abstraction, will feature eight women and include paintings, ceramics and a mural, all exploring the human connection to natural environments while deepening one’s understanding of ‘home’. Sawyer Yards artists participating in the inaugural exhibition include Celan Bouillet, Luisa Duarte, Leslie Gaworecki, Hedwige Jacobs, Ami Mehta and Falon Mihalic, as well as Houston-based ceramist Jessica Phillips and muralist Jessica Rice.
“This unique concentration of artists, who create dynamic and inspirational pieces to share with the community, is truly what makes Sawyer Yards the creative heart of Houston,” said Steve Gibson, one of the developers of Sawyer Yards. “We are excited to collaborate with Skanska to share work from our part of Houston’s vibrant arts and culture scene with the downtown community and look forward to our artists being part of this high-energy destination.”
Pieces will be on view from June 1 through Dec. 30, 2019. Every six months, the 100-foot glass wall lining Milam Street, known as the Milam Art Wall, will feature work from Sawyer Yards artists curated by Zuñiga. Curated themes will vary with each installation.
Designed by the Michael Hsu Office of Architecture, Understory can be accessed by the “Great Steps,” a 30-foot-wide monumental staircase and gathering place that creates the first true street level gateway to the tunnel network.