The Altino Arantes Building, also known as the Banespa Building, is an important skyscraper located in São Paulo, Brazil.
The building was constructed to be the headquarters of the Bank of the State of São Paulo (Banespa), between 1939 and 1947. It remained the tallest building of the city for two decades until being surpassed by the Edifício Itália. Soon after its completion in the 1940s, it was named the World's largest structure of reinforced concrete. It was designed by Plínio Botelho do Amaral, who was inspired by the Empire State Building and Frank Lloyd Wright. Its panoramic view of the center of São Paulo and its outskirts attract thousands of visitors. In the future, the Altino Arantes building will become the headquarters of the Banespa Cultural Institute, facilitating artistic and cultural activities.
After its foundation in 1909, the Banespa underwent a period of substantial expansion and needed a larger headquarters. The first place chosen for such purpose was in Ramos de Azevedo Square, a place distant from the São Paulo's banking district near São Bento and XV de Novembro streets. Determined to move to an area of more economic prominence, the bank made an agreement with the Santa Casa de Misericórdia to purchase a building that they would demolish to construct a new headquarters on João Brícola street. The project was held in the account of the engineer and architect Plinio Botelho do Amaral, but was adapted by the contracting firm Camargo & Mesquita, who wanted to construct something similar to the Empire State Building.
The building has 35 floors, is 161.22 meters tall and 17,951 square meters in area, and has 14 elevators, 900 steps and 1,119 windows. For 20 years, it was the tallest building in São Paulo. In 1948, it was considered to be the biggest reinforced concrete structure in the world.
The building also houses the Banespa Museum, which chronicles the almost 100-year history of the bank since its inauguration as Bank of Hipothecário Credit of the State of São Paulo until now. The museum's collection includes 993 objects, 1003 workmanships, 98 signed photographs, 66 eastern and national carpets among others items.