Friday, January 18, 2008

Hearst Tower - Norman Foster

Foster and Partners 2006

The Hearst Tower is Foster's first building in New York. It is also New York's first 'green' building built to the Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standard of the U.S. Green Buildings Council. But this is no obviously 'eco' building; the New York Times said it "may be the most muscular symbol of corporate self-confidence to rise in New York since the 1960s."

The new Hearst tower is built on top of the original Hearst headquarters building from 1928, in unapologetic, glaring contrast with its eclectic, Art-Deco-inspired original. The based building was originally reinforced to hold a tower above, but in fact the whole building behind the facade has been gutted to create the new tower, as is clear from the soaring atrium within.

The Hearst Tower is the first office tower in North America to use a diagonal grid ("diagrid") construction rather than vertical steel beams. This configuration reduces the total steel required by around 20%, contributing to the buidling's sustainability credentials. Other design features focus on low energy requirements and water conservation in use. About 85% of the original 6-story structure was re-used or recycled.

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