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