The original 1928 building was commissioned by the Hearst Organisation as the base for a skyscraper to accommodate its headquarters, but this was never completed due to the Great Depression.
In early 2001, Hearst appointed architect Norman Foster to design a new headquarters on the site of the existing building, incorporating the preserved facade into the design of the new 46-storey tower. The Hearst Tower is one of the most environmentally-friendly high-rise buildings ever constructed.
We designed an innovative diagrid structural system, which gives the tower its distinctive faceted appearance, to maximize its stability under gravity, wind and seismic loading. It allows interior spaces to be uncluttered by pillars and walls, thus creating superb views of the city from most vantages on the work floors. This highly effective structural system offered the added advantage of using 20% less steel than a conventional moment frame structure. 85% of the building’s structural steel contains recycled material.
The building is designed to use 26% less energy than the minimum requirements for the city of New York. Our energy efficient and environmentally sustainable building services design included the first use of radiant floors for cooling and heating in a building of this kind; and collection and re-use of rainwater for the cooling system, to irrigate plants and for the water sculpture in the main lobby.
The Hearst Tower was the first commercial office tower building in New York to be awarded LEED®Gold Certification.