BBVA Compass Plaza, the first tower to go up in the Houston’s Galleria area in 30 years, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony this week. The 22-story building showcases energy-efficient systems, along with open and collaborative workspaces.

“When BBVA decided to come to the U.S., we knew there were opportunities to make our mark, and this new building is a very emphatic mark,” said BBVA Chairman and CEO Francisco Gonzalez. “It’s a great example of our will to continue growing in the U.S. market.”

The new BBVA Compass offices at 2200 Post Oak Blvd. incorporate an open workspace design, replacing offices and cubicles to encourage collaboration. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi-enabled phones allow employees to work in a variety of settings — in informal collaboration areas or private rooms, for example.

BBVA Tower Houston“The open environment embodies our core values of simplicity and transparency,” said Manolo Sanchez, BBVA Compass CEO and president. “This is an innovative workplace where we value collaborative workspace more than wood-paneled offices.”

A total of 825 BBVA Compass employees will occupy 185,000 square feet on eight floors of the building, which includes a flagship bank branch and innovation lab. It also has an on-site fitness center, a cafeteria offering healthy food options and floor-to-ceiling windows.

BBVA Compass Plaza, jointly developed by The Redstone Companies and Stream Realty Partners, received a LEED Gold certification, a global recognition of an environmentally friendly building made with sustainable materials. The 318,000-square-foot property was constructed with green materials, from recycled carpets to organic paints. Teleconferencing technology and a variety of meeting spaces also reduce the need for employees to travel, minimizing the bank’s carbon footprint.

During the construction of the 22-story building, waste was diverted away from landfills by recycling products. BBVA Compass also reduced the environmental impact of the building through efficient water- and energy-consumption systems and by utilizing green cleaning products.

Artwork by established and emerging artists from around the world adorns the interior of the building as part of BBVA Compass’ commitment to foster the arts in the communities where it operates.

A Volkswagen Beetle decorated with more than 2 million colorful glass beads by Mexico’s Huichol Indians is now on display in the tower’s branch. The art car is on loan from Mexico City’s Museo de Arte Popular through the end of June. Twenty pieces of art from BBVA’s collection in Madrid also are on loan to the bank.

The tower also features two new restaurant concepts — Chef John Sheely’s Osteria Mazzantini and Chef Hugo Ortega’s Caracol.

Image courtesy of The Redstone Companies