Hearst Tower

Location:New York, NY
Architect:Foster and Partners and Adamson Associates
Client:Tishman Speyer

Completed nearly 80 years after its initial construction, the Hearst Tower consists of two powerfully contrasting yet complimentary designs.  The first, an eight-story cast-stone building of 1928 by celebrated theater architect Joseph Urban, is a singular mix of Art Deco and Expressionist motifs that was intended to support a much taller structure.  These plans were postponed due to the Great Depression and it was not until 2006 that the current faceted tower finally rose from the original structure in a dramatic display of famed British architect Sir Norman Foster’s signature high-tech style.

The first skyscraper to break ground in New York after 09/11, the new addition incorporates a vast multi-level lobby and energy-saving features that won it New York City’s first LEED Gold rating for an office building, in 2007. Due to aftermath from September 11th, when the project was in design, the structure of both the new curtain wall tower and existing cast stone existing base, including the window replacement design, had to be hardened to address blast mitigation criteria. Vidaris helped navigate the adjustments and see the project from design into construction.

Vidaris consulted on all aspects of the building’s exterior envelope, seamlessly joining the fully restored cast stone base with the new tower and inserting new windows into lower floors that matched the landmarked originals perfectly while fulfilling revised codes and directives. The interior of the original building was gutted, the roof was removed, masonry facade and perimeter steel columns and spandrel beams were retained and reinforced by a complementary framing grid in order to construct the tower. Five-millimeter stainless steel cladding and 40-foot, four-story triangular elements wraps around the exterior building making the facade exceptionally strong. It is constructed using 80% recycled steel and designed to consume 25% less energy than the conventional neighboring buildings.

An inspector was stationed in Germany for the seven month duration of the glass fabrication, witnessing the facade mock-up of the erection, pre-testing and formal mock-up testing. Vidaris performed site monitoring to verify compliance of erection work with approved drawings and specifications and with the guidelines outlined in the NYC Building Code and prepared the TR-1. We also consulted on the restoration and cleaning of the original landmark facade and allegorical statues.

Additionally, Vidaris assisted to create an energy-efficient, environmentally-considered building.  A wide range of envelope, lighting, HVAC and control strategies were studied during the core and shell design.  Investigations were also made into enhancements to the subsequent fit-out.  In 2010 the building obtained an Energy Star rating in the 90's.  The work was co-funded by the NYSERDA.

The building is recognized as a historic landmark.


Photo Credit: Pavel Bendov Photography

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