Hearst Tower

Hearst Tower

Architect
Foster + Partners
Location
New York, United States | View Map
Project Year
2006
Category
Offices
Stories By
Foster + Partners

Walter Knoll
Nigel Young
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
ManufacturersWalter Knoll
ManufacturersZumtobel Lighting Gmbh
ManufacturersKEIM
ManufacturersSteelcase
ManufacturersDecoustics
ManufacturersGuardian Glass

Product Spec Sheet
Manufacturers
Manufacturers
by KEIM
Manufacturers
Manufacturers
Manufacturers

Hearst Tower

Foster + Partners as Architects

Hearst Tower revives a dream from the 1920s, when William Randolph Hearst envisaged Columbus Circle as a vibrant new quarter for media and entertainment companies in Manhattan. Hearst commissioned a six-storey Art Deco block on Eighth Avenue to house his publishing empire. When it was completed in 1928 he anticipated that the building would eventually form the base for a landmark tower, though no scheme was ever advanced. Echoing an approach developed in the Reichstag and the Great Court at the British Museum, the challenge in designing such a tower at some seventy years remove was to establish a creative dialogue between old and new.


The new forty-two-storey tower provides almost one million square feet of office space. It rises above the old building, linked on the outside by a transparent skirt of glazing that floods the spaces below with natural light and encourages an impression of the tower floating weightlessly above the base. The main spatial event is a lobby that occupies the entire floor plate and rises up through six floors. Like a bustling town square, this dramatic space provides access to all parts of the building. It incorporates the main elevator lobby, the Hearst cafeteria and auditorium and mezzanine levels for meetings and special functions. Structurally, the tower has a triangulated form - a highly efficient solution that uses 20 percent less steel than a conventionally framed structure. With its corners peeled back between the diagonals it has the effect of emphasising the towers vertical proportions and creating a distinctive facetted silhouette.


The new building is also distinctive in environmental terms. It is constructed using 80 percent recycled steel and designed to consume 25 percent less energy than its conventional neighbours. As a result, it is expected to be the first new office building in the city to be given a gold rating under the US Green Buildings Councils Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) programme. As a company, Hearst places a high value on the concept of a healthy workplace - a factor that it believes will become increasingly important to its staff in the future. Indeed, Hearst's experience with the green building process may herald the more widespread construction of environmentally sensitive buildings in the city.

Diagrid design

Walter Knoll as Manufacturers

A new landmark is revitalising the corporate architecture of mid-town Manhattan. The Hearst Tower, designed by Foster + Partners, plays with architectural history, its striking silhouette visible for miles.


Situated near Central Park, the 46-storey skyscraper of the media group Hearst stretches 182 metres into the sky. The impressive new building houses numerous offices, conference and exhibition areas, as well as a theatre, a TV studio and a café over its 79,500 square metres’ floor space. Around 2,000 people work at the headquarters of this leading media group whose stable includes well-known newspapers, magazines and TV stations, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Cosmopolitan and Harper’s Bazaar.


Foster + Partners used the corporation’s existing Art Déco building from the 1920s as the base for the new tower. Commissioned by media magnate William Randolph Hearst, the Viennese architect Joseph Urban designed a sculpted, six-storey block in 1928 which Hearst planned to convert into a tower. Today, 80 years later, his dream has been realised. Foster + Partners retained the stone Art Déco façades, part of the architectural heritage of the city, and built the 182-metre tower inside the original walls.


The façade looks sculpted and logical with the receding corners of the diagonal steel structure, because unlike standard constructions, the steel girders of the façade run diagonally as opposed to vertically. The framework of the crystalline-looking building consists of four-storey mosaic-like triangles which can be made out thanks to stainless steel dividers. A diagonal network covers the glass façade which appears to arise from the historical walls.


Transparency and spectacular design dominate the interior too. Diagonally running escalators, positioned between artistic waterfalls, connect the ground floor with the atrium, the social heart of the building. Surrounded by the original walls, the translucent lobby invites you to relax with its chill-out areas and café. Diagonal and vertical stainless steel girders form an optical break. They support the open space over ten storeys. Combined with the historical base, this results in a harmonious interaction of old and new, past and present.


The Foster 500 sofa range developed by Norman Foster together with Walter Knoll invites you to muse, ponder and take a break. Balanced proportions and strict geometry determine the impression. The café features chairs and barstools from Walter Knoll’s Jason range.


Project: Hearst Tower, New York Architecture: Foster + Partners, London and Adamson Associates, New York

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