Tuesday, January 13, 2009
The Hearst Building designed by Norman Foster is situated on top of the original six-storey headquarters buildings that was designed by Joseph Urban and constructed in 1928. The preservation of the façade has resulted in an effective balance between the need for a new building and corporate identity for the Hearst Corporation whilst maintaining and renovating the original streetscape, responding to the two distinct urban conditions of New York City; the original facades of older buildings at ground level and the glittering towers of the New York Skyline. The tower’s sculpted geometry and exposed structural steel frame has created a strong image of a 21st century skyscraper.
The building is the first ‘green’ high rise office building in New York City. The building employs a number of devices including an under floor heating and cooling system using polyethelene tubes filled with circulating water, and rain water collection that is used for the cooling system, irrigation of plants and the water sculpture in the lobby. The efficient diagonal steel structure was constructed with 80% recycled steel.
As with other recent works by Foster the environmental sustainability of the design is a key consideration yet is carefully concealed in the design as not to compromise the design or highlight the buildings ‘green’ credentials and are excellent examples of how this can be achieved.