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Old November 16th, 2005, 10:36 PM   #401
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There is no more scaffolding on the main base.

I respected your views, so I expect you do to the same.
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Old December 20th, 2005, 03:04 AM   #402
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Norman Foster’s thrilling addition to midtown Manhattan.

Issue of 2005-12-19
Posted 2005-12-12

Norman Foster is the Mozart of modernism. He is nimble and prolific, and his buildings are marked by lightness and grace. He works very hard, but his designs don’t show the effort. He brings an air of unnerving aplomb to everything he creates—from skyscrapers to airports, research laboratories to art galleries, chairs to doorknobs. His ability to produce surprising work that doesn’t feel labored must drive his competitors crazy.

Foster, who is English and lives in London, is an artist with the savvy of a corporate consultant. He knows how to convince chief executives that the avant-garde is in their interest. In the nineteen-eighties, he persuaded H.S.B.C., the international bank, to spend nearly a billion dollars to build a tower in Hong Kong; the novel structure, in which five enormous steel modules were stacked on top of one another, was the most innovative skyscraper since the Seagram Building. In 2000, he secured a commission from the Hearst Corporation, the publishing firm, to design its new headquarters, in Manhattan. The gorgeous, gemlike tower, which will officially open in a few months, is Foster’s first big project in America.

In the nineteen-twenties, William Randolph Hearst commissioned Joseph Urban to design his company’s first headquarters: six stories of megalomaniacal pomp on Eighth Avenue between Fifty-sixth and Fifty-seventh Streets. Despite its low height, everything about the yellowish stone structure suggests grandiosity, especially the monumental fluted columns that stretch higher than the building itself, giving it the look of a base for a much taller structure. (Hearst and Urban had planned to add a tower, but they never did.) The Hearst Corporation long ago outgrew this zany palazzo, dispatching most of its employees to rented space nearby. When the company decided to gather its operations under one roof, its executives smartly concluded that Urban’s building was too much fun to give up. Hearst hired Foster to build something on top of it, and in October, 2001, he unveiled a scheme to add forty stories to the original headquarters. It was the first major construction project to be announced in New York after September 11th.

As with all Foster designs, the Hearst tower is sleek, refined, and filled with new technology. It looks nothing like the Jazz Age confection on which it sits. The addition is sheathed in glass and stainless steel—a shiny missile shooting out of Urban’s stone launching pad. The tower’s most prominent feature is the brash geometric pattern of its glass and steel, which the architect calls a “diagrid”: a diagonal grid of supporting trusses, covering the façade with a series of four-story-high triangles. These make up much of the building’s supporting structure, and they do it with impressive economy: the pattern uses twenty per cent less steel than a conventional skyscraper frame would require.

Foster’s brilliance can be seen in the way that he exploits this engineering trick for aesthetic pleasure. The triangles are the playful opposites of the dark Xs that slash the façade of the John Hancock Center, in Chicago. They give the building a jubilantly jagged shape. Foster started with a box, then sliced off the corners and ran triangles up and down the sides, pulling them in and out—a gargantuan exercise in nip and tuck. The result resembles a many-faceted diamond. The corners of the shaft slant in and out as the tower rises, and the whole form shimmers.

Such a scheme could have become a pretentious exercise in structural exhibitionism, but in Foster’s hands it presents the perfect foil for Urban’s building. The design avoids the two most obvious approaches: imitating the style of the base or erecting a neutral glass box. Joseph Urban’s goal in the original Hearst Building was to create a respectable form of flamboyance, and Foster has figured out how to do the same thing with his tower, but in unquestionably modern terms, and without compromising his commitment to structural innovation. Foster is at his best when solving puzzles like this one; unlike most élite architects, he isn’t obsessed with creating his own pure forms. His gift for building a meaningful conversation between new and old architecture became apparent six years ago, with the unveiling of the renovated Reichstag, in Berlin: Foster placed a glass dome atop an ornate nineteenth-century masonry structure, reinterpreting the building’s monumentality in modernist terms. And, in 2000, he enlivened the courtyard of the British Museum with a steel-and-glass canopy that casts a delicate geometric shadow on the floor.

In some ways, the Hearst tower calls to mind a famous unbuilt design from a heyday of modernism: a six-hundred-foot skyscraper in Philadelphia, proposed by Louis Kahn and Anne Tyng in 1957, which would have had a zigzag shape based on a framework of triangular supports. Kahn and Tyng weren’t the only designers to have understood that the triangle is an inherently strong and efficient structural form; Buckminster Fuller and the engineer Robert Le Ricolais made the same claim. Foster’s use of triangles is, in this sense, a borrowed notion. But most of the older schemes had the visual appeal of something made with an Erector set. Foster took the ideas, updated them, and produced not just a real building but an exceptionally elegant one.

Indeed, the Hearst tower is the most beautiful skyscraper to go up in New York since 1967, when Skidmore, Owings & Merrill completed the stunningly serene 140 Broadway, in lower Manhattan. After all the inchoate, collagelike skyscrapers that have been built around Times Square in the past decade, it’s refreshing to see a tall building that clearly emerges from rational thought. Yet the Hearst tower also has a jauntiness that most modern buildings lack. The venerable modernist tradition of allowing a building’s structure to determine its form has often led to pious, heavy-handed architecture. If you believe that there is something noble about a building expressing its structure, you will like the Hearst tower. But if you believe that it is more important for buildings to energize the skyline, you will like the Hearst tower every bit as much.

The pleasure of the Hearst tower doesn’t end with the exterior. It has one of the most dramatic entrances of any tower in New York. You go in through Urban’s original arch—which, along with the rest of the base’s exterior, has been meticulously restored—and up a set of escalators. What comes next is an explosive surprise such as has not been seen in the city since Frank Lloyd Wright led people through a low, tight lobby into the rotunda of the Guggenheim. The escalators deposit you in a vast atrium that contains the upper floors of the old Urban building, which Foster has carved out and roofed over with glass. The inside walls of the old building have been covered with stucco, and you look up at three stories of windows—something one rarely sees, except perhaps in a cathedral—which give the space the feel of an outdoor piazza.

Hearst employees will be able to eat in a café within the atrium, and so will be on a par with their rivals at the Condé Nast Building, in Times Square, which features a sensuous Frank Gehry-designed cafeteria. But the Hearst space isn’t just chic; it’s majestic. The atrium is enhanced by huge, diagonal structural supports for the tower, which slice down into it, and skylights offer thrilling views of the tower rising directly above.

Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to see the Hearst Building in the cityscape. It is blocked on the west by a banal brick apartment building, on the north by another apartment tower and, beyond that, by the new Time Warner Center, at Columbus Circle, which looks all the more uninspired in comparison. This situation isn’t much different from that of most iconic New York skyscrapers, which are visible only in pieces. (The Empire State Building is a happy exception.) But the partial sightings of the Hearst Building that are offered up and down Eighth Avenue or along Fifty-seventh Street are so enticing that they end up increasing its allure—like a flash of leg in a slit skirt. The best view comes from the Upper East Side, around the Metropolitan Museum, since nothing blocks the Hearst Building to the northeast. From the Met’s roof, you can see the tower emerge in its full glory, rising over Central Park, at once fitting into New York’s skyline and transforming it.
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Old December 20th, 2005, 03:50 AM   #403
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Thats the nicest ******* TOWER IVE EVER SEEN. If it were a person id shag it.
Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war.

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City of peace
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Old December 21st, 2005, 11:57 PM   #404
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Facts and Figures

First "Green" commercial building in New York City (expected to receive a Gold LEED rating from the USGBC).
The cost of foreign-sourced materials represents less than 10% of the cost of the construction of the Tower itself.
The "diagrid" frame of the Tower will contain roughly 20% less steel than would a conventional perimeter frame — saving approximately 2,000 tons of steel.
Each triangle in the diagrid is four stories tall, or 54 feet.
Daylight sensors to control lighting and reduce energy use
Over one mile of glass office fronts
Over 85% of structural steel contains recycled material
Fitness Center
15 passenger elevators
7 miles of storage filing space
Wi-Fi enables
14,000 light fixtures
Over 16,000 ceiling tiles
State-of-the-art laboratory and test kitchens
High-speed fiber optic data transmission — 10x faster than now
Full-service television studio
Dedicated video distribution network

Gross Area: 856,000 ft² / 79,500 m²
Zoning Area: 721,000 ft² / 67,000 m²
(120,000 ft² / 11,000 m² from subway bonus)
Typical Gross Floor Area: 20,000 ft² (1,900 m²)
Typical Floor to Floor Height: 13’-6" (4 m)
Building Height: 597 ft (182 m)
Number of Stories: 46

Client: Hearst Corporation
Architect: Foster and Partners
Associate Architect: Adamson Associates
Structure: Cantor Seinuk Group
MEP: Flack & Kurtz
Vertical Transportation: VDA
Lighting: George Sexton
Food Service: Ira Beer
Development Manager: Tishman Speyer Properties

Subway Improvements
Hearst Communication Inc. (Hearst) is complying with the American's With Disability Act (ADA) and making improvements over pedestrian traffic flow at Columbus Circle Station as part of their overall construction of the new headquarters project. Hearst commenced the improvements in January 2004 with final completion of all work scheduled for this Fall 2005 (better than the agreed upon 2-year schedule with New York City Transit).

The Hearst improvements include:
• 3 new ADA-compliant elevators (mezzanine to platform)
• 2 new stairs (mezzanine to platform)
• 4 reconfigured stairs - widened and reoriented (mezzanine to platform)
• 2 refurbished stairs to street level through the new Hearst Building
• Relocated fare stations for better accessibility and traffic flow

These improvements, coupled with an existing elevator to street level, and other New York City Transit work, will provide better access to the station for persons with disabilities. Columbus Circle Station is the 14th busiest station (out of over 400) in the New York City Transit System.

Green Facts
Hearst Tower: A Pioneer in Environmental Sustainability

In deciding to move forward in the fall of 2001 with ambitious plans to build a 46-story, Lord Norman Foster-designed, iconic headquarters tower above its historic six-story base, the leaders of The Hearst Corporation made a bold commitment to its 2,000 employees and the City of New York.

New York City's Columbus Circle neighborhood had been Hearst's home for 80 years, and with that momentous decision, Hearst dedicated its next eighty years to the area.

This commitment by The Hearst Corporation, however, is much more than merely a real estate decision. From design through construction, furnishing and occupancy, Hearst has committed itself to producing the most environmentally friendly or "green" office tower in New York City history.

When the Hearst Tower is complete, it is expected to be the first office building in New York City to earn a Gold Rating under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) by the U.S. Green Building Council, which is recognized as the nation's leading authority on environmentally sensitive design and construction.

This is a significant achievement given that, prior to the Hearst Tower project, many doubted that a high-rise office tower in New York City could achieve official green status. Hearst is proving not only that it can be done but providing a successful road map to achievement. In doing so, Hearst is setting a higher standard for green building.

For New York City, the benefits include significant reductions in pollution and increased conservation of the City's vital resources, including water and electricity.

For Hearst employees and visitors, it means a healthier, more inviting and more productive working environment. For New York City's major corporations and building developers, Hearst has set a higher standard for building green.

The environmentally conscious approach began prior to construction. When demolishing the interior portions of the existing, six-story structure, Hearst and its team of building professionals went to great lengths to collect and separate recyclable materials. As a result, about 85 percent of the original structure was recycled for future use.

Working with Lord Foster, Hearst settled upon an innovative "diagrid" system (a word contraction of diagonal grid), that creates a series of four-story triangles on the façade. No horizontal steel beams are being used, which is a first for North American office towers. In addition to giving the tower a bold architectural distinctiveness, it is providing Hearst with superior structural efficiency. As a result, Hearst eliminated the need for approximately 2,000 tons of steel, a 20 percent savings over a typical office building.

Hearst executives also selected an innovative type of glass that wraps around the exterior of the building. The glass has a special "low-E" coating that allows for internal spaces to be flooded with natural light while keeping out the invisible solar radiation that causes heat.

In conjunction with the glass, Hearst is installing light sensors that will control the amount of artificial light on each floor based on the amount of natural light available at any given time. The optimization of natural light has been demonstrated in recent studies to have important, positive effects on occupant health, quality of life and productivity.

Hearst also will utilize technology that senses activity level. At lunchtime, when some employees are leaving or not using their computers, motion sensors will detect this and adjust the system accordingly. These sensors will allow for lights and computers to be turned off when a room is vacant.

In addition, Hearst is using high efficiency heating and air-conditioning equipment that will utilize outside air for cooling and ventilation for 75 percent of the year, as well as Energy Star appliances. These and other energy-saving features are expected to increase energy efficiency by 22 percent compared to a standard office building. This is a welcome innovation in New York City, where rapidly growing electricity demand is threatening to overwhelm the local power supply.

Hearst is also employing pioneering technologies in order to conserve and more efficiently use water. For example, Hearst's roof has been designed to collect rainwater, which will reduce the amount of water dumped into the City's sewer system during rainfall by 25 percent.

The rainwater will then be harvested in two 14,000-gallon reclamation tanks located in the basement of the Hearst Tower. The rainwater will be used to replace water lost to evaporation in the office air-conditioning system. It also will be fed into a special pumping system to irrigate plantings and trees inside and outside of the building. It is expected that the captured rain will produce about half of the watering needs.

The harvested water also will be utilized for "Ice Falls," a three-story, sculpted water feature within the building's grand atrium. In addition to serving as a stunning entrance to the building, Ice Falls, which is believed to be the nation's largest sustainable water feature, will also serve an environmental function by serving to humidify and chill the atrium lobby as necessary.

Hearst's focus on green does not stop after construction and installation of building systems. In fact, Hearst made a conscious choice at the outset of the tower project to make environmental considerations a major factor in every single decision, including the interior spaces.

While the tower was designed to include as few internal walls as possible in order to maximize natural light, the walls that do exist will be coated with low vapor paints. Workstations and offices will be furnished with desks, chairs and other furniture that is formaldehyde free. Concrete surfaces will be furnished with low toxicity sealants.

In a nod to ecological conservation, the floors beneath and the ceiling tiles above will be manufactured with recycled content.

The Hearst Corporation has long been an integral part of New York City and a vital contributor to the metropolis' unquenchable passion for boldness and innovation. With its emphasis on architectural distinction, modern technology and sustainable design, the Hearst headquarters tower becomes the very embodiment of Hearst's pioneering tradition.

• George B. Post & Sons was the architect of William Randolph Hearst's rival Joseph Pulitzer's World Building as well as the original New York Times building.

• Urban became art director of Hearst's new film making studio, remodeled the Criterion and Cosmopolitan theaters for him and designed the Hearst-financed Ziegfeld Theater while serving as a set designer for the Metropolitan Opera.

• Urban collaborated with Benjamin Wistar Morris on the design of the Opera’s new house on 57th Street just three months after filing plans for the International Magazine Building. Each proposal included high-rise components and since Urban had little experience in that area, George B. Post Sons was brought on board. The Opera house was never built.

Love Is In The Air !

I Love NY

Last edited by TowersNYC; December 22nd, 2005 at 12:49 AM.
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Old December 22nd, 2005, 12:10 AM   #405
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wow, turned out nice.
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Old December 22nd, 2005, 12:15 AM   #406
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Bye bye Scaffolding
Hello nice high-rise!
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Old December 22nd, 2005, 12:58 AM   #407
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Foster does it again. This is one of my favorite buildings (even better in person) and I bet it wins a lot of awards.

After reading the article TalB posted I really want to see pictures of that atrium. Anybody have friends who work at Hearst?
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Old December 22nd, 2005, 12:59 AM   #408
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Very nice story about the 'green' ness of the building. Great to see these kind of buildings going up. A wonderfull building with a green attitude. I like that.
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Old December 22nd, 2005, 01:34 AM   #409
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MY Photo Timeline this year of this mahvolous tower

February 2005

April 2005

May 2005

July 2005

August 2005

September 2005

November 2005

the end
Love Is In The Air !

I Love NY
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Old December 22nd, 2005, 02:05 AM   #410
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nice1 : )
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Old January 13th, 2006, 06:00 AM   #411
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photo by Grimm NY

Love Is In The Air !

I Love NY
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Old January 13th, 2006, 06:12 AM   #412
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Old January 13th, 2006, 08:06 AM   #413
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Old January 13th, 2006, 08:29 PM   #414
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A true masterpiece....is it possible to enter the lobby of this tower ; way back when first impressions were on the internet of this tower, I was even more impressed of that lobby (old facade and details with modern parts etc....)
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Old January 13th, 2006, 09:42 PM   #415
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This tower looks so 22nd century... NYC entered the future!
Tower In My BackYard!
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Old January 13th, 2006, 11:20 PM   #416
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It's really a nice tower.
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Old January 14th, 2006, 03:19 AM   #417
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Awsome Design! Love it
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Old January 14th, 2006, 03:39 AM   #418
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Hearst Tower is a beautifully executed masterpiece of the highest standard.
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Old January 14th, 2006, 04:11 AM   #419
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Just perfect, i love this Tower, great addition!
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Old January 14th, 2006, 04:32 AM   #420
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The Hearst Tower is supossed to be finished durring this year.
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