AIA CitiesHearst Tower
"One thing that was paramount in our minds at the time was to re-invent the landmark that it was...to create a new landmark. We thought that what we needed to do was carve out the base and create what we termed a collegial space... So it's really a city square within the city."
The exterior of the original base building used by Hearst was restored and its core was hollowed out via the removal of the existing floor plates. The original building now serves as an interior town square, retaining street-level retail space and subway entrances with a new 492-seat cafeteria, a 167-seat auditorium and a grand fountain that flows over a lit and canted cast-glass wall designed in collaboration with artist James Carpenter. Escalators connect the street-level entry with the lobby. The Tower appears overhead the lobby through flat perimeter skylights, providing a contrasting play between the original building and the new tower's modern materials and form.
In developing the new tower, the architects chose a diagrid structure, which offers triangulated three-dimensional forms that eliminated the need for corner columns, carving back the volume and creating sculptural "open bird mouths" that create a novel and dramatic exterior. The glass geometry shimmers with changing light and views. Hearst Tower earned New York City's LEED Gold rating, with 7 Word Trade Center having received the first. More than eighty-five percent of the steel in the tower is recycled. The climate-control system incorporates free-air cooling, using filtered outside air without temperature adjustment seventy-five percent of the year.
The tower uses reflective roof pavers, low E-coated glass, and sensors that conserve both water and electricity. A radiant system of water-filled pipes helps cool and heat the lobby's limestone floor. In addition to its noteworthy sustainability feature, it is a notable example of modern interventions in a historic context. It showcases how new architectural forms--potential landmarks of the future--can be integrated into existing vintage structures.
Hearst Tower is located between 56th and 57th Streets along Manhattan's Eight Avenue. The design architect of Hearst Tower is Foster+Partners, the interior architect is Gensler, and the architect of record is Adamson Associates. The new tower, Foster+Partners' first building in Manhattan, was completed in 2006. It includes offices for 16-owned Hearst magazines, including such well-known periodicals as Esquire and Cosmopolitan.
The Hearst Corporation moved all their magazines into one building from twelve offices around the city. They reduced the number of offices and increased the number of workstations, encouraging more collaboration and synergy among magazine staff. In addition to office spaces, Gensler designed many of the tower's signature interiors including a full-service television studio, a fitness center, media laboratory, test kitchens and data center.
Foster + Partners
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