MaximusDecember 20, 2010
Old and New
Courtesy of one of regular readers, some photos of the Hearst Tower in New York. The building was started way back in the mists of time, say 1920-30, and so has a somewhat grand podium, with tall sculptured figures guarding the entry – but the tower was never constructed – I suspect the Wall St crash may have been a reason for incompleteness. Fast forward another 7-8 decades, and Foster and Partners (yes, he of the storming Norman fame) are commissioned to continue the job and top it all off at last. Here’s the pics:
So, in a manner perfectly befitting a city that is still reticent of tall buildings in the post September 11 era, Foster proposes a giant triangulated, tessellated tower on top. I don’t know why, but it reminds me of a Crunchie bar. You can imagine the selling job would have been easier with a massively structurally dynamic skeleton like that – and it’s clearly demonstrating lessons learned from the Gherkin as well in its external cladding.
But, as David has noted, it’s proportions are a bit ungainly. It could have been taller, or thinner, or both. The repetition of the floor structure is a little too chunky and clunky to ever be a thing of beauty, apart from a bravura show of strength.
The junction between the two, old and new, is where all he’ll breaks loose apparently, with some stunning lobby spaces climbing up through the void space in between. No pictures of that unfortunately.
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