The Hearst Tower is a building with the addresses of 300 West 57th Street and 959 Eighth Avenue, near Columbus Circle, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. It is the world headquarters of the Hearst Corporation, housing the numerous publications and communications companies of the media conglomerate under one roof, including, among others, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Marie Claire, Harper's Bazaar, Good Housekeeping, and Seventeen.
The six-story base of the headquarters building was commissioned by the founder, William Randolph Hearst, and awarded to the architect Joseph Urban. The building was completed in 1928 at a cost of $2 million and contained 40,000 square feet (3,700 m2). The original cast stone facade has been preserved in the new design as a designated Landmark site. Originally built as the base for a proposed skyscraper, the construction of the tower was postponed due to the Great Depression. The new tower addition was completed nearly eighty years later, and 2,000 Hearst employees moved in on June 26, 2006.
The tower--designed by the architect Norman Foster, structurally engineered by WSP Cantor Seinuk, and constructed by Turner Construction--is 46 stories tall, standing 182 meters (597 ft) with 80,000 square metres (860,000 sq ft) of office space. The uncommon triangular framing pattern (also known as a diagrid) required 9,500 metric tons (10,480 tons) of structural steel--reportedly about 20% less than a conventional steel frame. Hearst Tower was the first skyscraper to break ground in New York City after September 11, 2001. The building received the 2006 Emporis Skyscraper Award, citing it as the best skyscraper in the world completed that year.
Hearst Tower is the first "green" high-rise office building completed in New York City, with a number of environmental considerations built into the plan. The floor of the atrium is paved with heat conductive limestone. Polyethylene tubing is embedded under the floor and filled with circulating water for cooling in the summer and heating in the winter. Rain collected on the roof is stored in a tank in the basement for use in the cooling system, to irrigate plants and for the water sculpture in the main lobby. 85% of the building's structural steel contains recycled material. Overall, the building has been designed to use 26% less energy than the minimum requirements for the city of New York, and earned a gold designation from the United States Green Building Council's LEED certification program, becoming New York City's first LEED Gold skyscraper.
The atrium features escalators which run through a 3-story water sculpture titled Icefall, a wide waterfall built with thousands of glass panels, which cools and humidifies the lobby air. The water element is complemented by a 70-foot-tall (21 m) fresco painting titled Riverlines by artist Richard Long.
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The layout of the Hearst Tower is such that the facade is very jagged. Plans for a rig, designed by Tractel-Swingstage, to hold window cleaners, took 3 years and 3 million dollars because of the building's concave windows, referred to as "bird's mouths". The resulting design incorporates "a rectangular steel box the size of a Smart car, supporting a 40-foot mast and hydraulic boom arm attached by six strands of wire rope to a telescopic cleaning basket, [and housing] a computer that monitors 67 electromechanical safety sensors and switches". The device was installed in April 2005 on 420 feet of elevated steel track looping the roof of the tower.
On June 12, 2013, two window cleaners were trapped on the window cleaning crane partway down from the top of the tower. The unique zigzag grid on the building's exterior and "bird's mouth" divots on its corners necessitated development of a special scaffold for window washers.
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