franklin rojas hearst tower essay

Franklin Rojas


Professor Gold


ENG 1101


December 18, 2012


Hearst Tower: The first New York City Landmark Of The 21st Century


The City of New York, a place we call home with many historic moments. Where we learn to adapt to the environment and make history with change. Where most of the structures of buildings are developed and becoming a landmark of New York City area. One of the most famous National Historic Landmarks located in New York City is the Hearst Tower. The Hearst Tower is a six story base of the headquarters building by the founder of William Randolph Hearst and the architect Joseph Urban. The building began being constructed in 1927 and was completed in 1928, the cost of $2 million and was 40,000 square feet. The original cast stone facade was preserved as a new design landmark site.  Hearst Tower, floats right above the original 1928 Art Deco structure, at Eighth Avenue. It was the first tower built without vertical steel beams, and the first to receive the Gold level LEED certification for environmental friendliness.


Historic approach:

William Randolph Hearst was born in San Francisco on April 29, 1863, Hearst used his wealth and privilege to build a media empire. Hearst was a founder of “yellow journalism,” that commended for his success and libeled by his enemies. A great effect that shut down Hearst was The Great Depression it took a toll on his company and his inspiration though his company.

The Hearst Tower is located at 300 west 57th street 959 8th avenue in midtown Manhattan New York. It is a 46 story building that it tries to be an apart of New York with a balance act to show its own personality with its past and future.  The structure of the building is geometrically built. The first tower in North America to use a diagonal grid construction. Structurally the tower has a triangulated form of four story tall diagram beams with its corners peeled back between the diagonals, it has the effect to show emphasizing, the tower’s vertical proportions and creating a distinctive flat smooth surface with dark shape and outline of something visible against a lighter background. The Hearst tower is known as a green building, With glass and steal that shots out the original building arch deco base. The Hearst Tower is the first “green” high rise office building completed in New York City, with a number of environmental built into the plan. The floor of the building is paved withheat conductive limestone. Plastic polymer 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 percent of the building’s structural steel contains recycled material. The building has been designed to use 26% less energy than the minimum requirements for the city of New York.

Formal approach:

The triangular facade of the building is not just any glass framing pattern. They are actually the steel columns, the load bearing framed structure of the building. The interesting thing about them is not even one of the columns is straight The building is designed in such a fashion that not even a single column is vertical, they are all slanting, inwards and outwards alternately. Further, each triangular section accommodates 4 floors. So the columns change their leaning direction after every 4th floor. The individual floors are tied to these columns at their edges, Also, the glass and steel facade reduces the heat absorbance of the building as chemically coated glass prevents suns heat from entering the building, which a concrete or aluminum clad structure usually absorbs. This cuts the air conditioning costs of the building and reduces the overall electricity consumption by 25percent. Earlier, the structure was a six storied building. Its foundations were not strong enough to bear the weight of the multistory tower. So the architect demolished the floors on the existing structure, leaving only the limestone clad facade, to send the columns of the above lying tower down below the ground.

Activist approach:
The Hearst tower makes difference in architecture today, It can give other architects ideas on what they should start concentrating on in their work. The truth is that the building is in New York, it should show influence on architects to motivate them to creating buildings with new ideas of being green. If all buildings where design the same there wouldn’t be much change in the field of building. I say the building is a great landmark to all the people to know about the structure of the Hearst tower and the usage of recycle materials. It is really great how the building can have a great structure and being about the environment. This building is more than just an building it is the future. It is a pathway  to a new road for architects. I say if buildings were build  like this it would  become apart the cities and be the first city to be structure “green”. New York will be definitely on a new city that would make the country more exciting to come and visit to see the true of architecture. The building serve is a positive structure to its community, and city. When one building is being created for a positive cause. I believe buildings should use the method that Sir Foster used on his structure and the community, environment can enjoy it and save money. When a building is structure in this way, it should inspire all architects to start designing buildings of the same idea. but I believe that a new time of life like now is here where we are have new technology we should embrace it than letting it go to nothing.

Works Cited
Hearst Tower Biography

Foster, Norman, Sir. Hearst Tower: Foster + Partners. Munich: Prestel, 2010





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