Hearst Tower, New York, NY

Hearst Tower 2013

Foster's Hearst Tower 3003


William Randolph Hearst had demanded that his six-story corporate headquarters in New York City be engineered to support a future skyscraper.

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Sir Norman Foster, an English architect, followed through with his design of the 46-story Hearst Tower.

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The uncommon triangular framing system, called diagrid, involves slanting columns and jagged corners that zigzag up the building’s exterior.

Hearst Tower 3004

All photos: Joel Levinson

[1]The diagonal motif is also expressed in the angular positioning of the escalators that slice through a water sculpture carrying visitors up to the main lobby. Ice Fall,[2] by artist/designer James Carpenter, involves 50 tons of cast glass prisms and accent blocks arranged in a multitude of diagonal patterns that capture light from above and projects it diagonally, extending the theme of the “tower’s diagonal grid structure.”




[1] This arresting design feature (called bird’s mouths) required the development of a special window cleaning system that itself cost $3M to build and 3 years to develop.

[2] Fabricator: John Lewis Glass, Oakland, CA. He works with a low iron, clear, soda lime glass as confirmed by Lynn Zboyovsky, Chief Operating Officer, John Lewis Glass.

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