Manhattan’s ultra-green Hearst Tower is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its opening with an exciting new exhibit highlighting the work of architect Norman Foster and his firm Foster + Partners. The gallery, titled “Building with History: The Exhibit”, marks the first time the firm’s projects will be gathered in one display, and features building models, master plans, and original sketches chronicling its many works. The Hearst Tower was the first project the London-based firm created in the United States and the first building commissioned in New York City after the September 11th attacks.
“Building with History: The Exhibit” encapsulates Foster + Partners’ creations from around the globe, from the Sackler Galleries at London’s Royal Academy of Arts to the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida. Twenty-eight scale presentation, section, site, study and master plan models, original sketches, floor plans, elevations, and photographic elements take viewers on a journey through Norman Foster and Foster + Partners’ 50-year history. Known for its practice of revitalizing historical buildings by integrating contemporary additions, the firm was able to take the existing 1928 Art Deco International Magazine Building commissioned by William Randolph Hearst and complete designer Joseph Urban’s vision of adding a tower to the six-story stone base. The criss-crossing steel beams that stretch into the sky are now an iconic piece of the midtown Manhattan skyline.
The Hearst Tower, located on 57th Street and 8th Avenue, was the first building in New York City to receive a Gold certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program after it opened October 9, 2006. Since then, it’s received a LEED Platinum certification and is recognized as a leader in green and efficient building practices. A rainwater collection system on the roof saves 1.7 million gallons of water a year and the building uses 40 percent less energy than more traditional constructions. Materials removed during construction were later recycled and 90 percent of the steel used in its structure – as well as the ceiling tiles and floors – is made from recycled materials.
The diagonal beams also cut back on the need for 2,000 tons of additional materials a vertical beam-based design would have required. It also allowed for plenty of daylight to flood each floor, but when lights are in use, sensors ensure that the appropriate amount is produced depending on how much sunlight is still available. Norman Foster and his team clearly went above and beyond to produce a sustainable gem from the outside in and Hearst has continued this mission through its recycling and composting programs and increasing its use of fiber-based paper to produce its publications. Together, the firm and Hearst have made it too easy for employees to do their part in helping the environment.
“Building with History: The Exhibit” will be on view in the gallery spaces on the third floor atrium through April 15, 2017.
Images via Nigel Young for Foster + Partners