BankCity is the corporate headquarters of First National Bank, (formerly Barclays Bank) and comprises the redevelopment of seven city blocks (64 individual sites) in Central Johannesburg. The development required the demolition of 28 buildings to make way for the new corporate headquarters at a time when most corporations were moving out of the central city.
The project budget was ZAR1.5 billion (about USD600 million in 1997). The scope of the project included 202,000 square metres of office accommodation, a ground floor retail component of 16,000 square metres, a recreation centre, dealing rooms, catering facilities and executive dining rooms, a four-level parking basement (1,300 bays) and a large civic square with adjacent cafes and shops.
Steve Thorne was selected as one of seven individual architects, led by Revel Fox, to design, document and develop the BankCity project. This original team grew to 48 architects to document and supervise the construction process. In addition to his role within the broader team, Steve was commissioned by the bank to design the commercial branch located within the complex. This he completed alone, on time and budget.