Hearst Tower: ‘Misplaced Missile Silo’ or a ‘Prototype for the Future’?
New York building gets lofty recognition.
It just goes to show: beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Earlier this year, Pulitzer Prize-winning architectural critic and Architectural Record contributing editor Robert Campbell said New York City’s Hearst Tower looks like a “misplaced missile silo” and “a cage for a single massive object.” In the magazine’s January issue he wrote that the building, which opened in 2006, is like a delinquent teen that thumbs its nose at its older companion—the six-story Art Deco building from the 1920s that the new tower sits upon.
Misplaced or not, the tower received praise recently as its designers, U.K.-based Foster + Partners, received the International Highrise Award, which is sponsored by Germany’s Deutsches Architekturmuseum. This year’s jury (the award is handed out every other year) said the project defied the “traditional stacking or the repeated extension of the same floor plate”, and called it a “prototype for future high-rise developments.”
The tower was New York City’s first building to get Gold LEED certification—the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest.