At the turn of the Millennium, Foster + Partners was appointed to design Hearst Tower – a media headquarters in Midtown Manhattan that rises forty-four-stories above a 1920s Art Deco building. The practice set up a site office to oversee the construction of this landmark project, which is located two-blocks south of Central Park. Once the tower was completed in 2006, Foster + Partners moved its New York team into a studio space on the 26th floor.
Today, a team of 40 team work in the south-facing studio, with panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline, including some of the practice’s completed and ongoing projects.
The New York office works closely with local clients, contractors, artists and fabricators, developing tailored solutions that celebrate their city context. Construction sites are monitored closely and the team’s first-hand experiences of living and working in New York are woven through the design process.
The open plan studio is spacious and filled with daylight, while smaller breakout rooms provide opportunities for more intimate meetings and project reviews. Models and drawings animate the space and demonstrate an iterative way of working. Informal pin-ups take place on a regular basis, encouraging open communication and feedback across a range of projects.
The office has access to Hearst Tower’s amenities, including a gym, sauna, canteen and communal lobby atrium that fills the shell of the old structure at the base of the building. Members of the team often spend time in Central Park - taking walks, going running and attending concerts during the warmer months.
2022 was a watershed year for the New York office, with two new buildings opening in the city. In October, the team celebrated the opening of 50 Hudson Yards, which forms an integral part of the new mixed-use district and 425 Park Avenue, the first full-block office building on Park Avenue in over 50 years At its base, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s new 14,000-square-foot restaurant, also designed by the practice, includes a main mezzanine dining level and a cocktail lounge, with a 45-foot-high ceiling and a 24-foot painting by the celebrated artist Larry Poons.
The office is currently working on a number of projects in New York and elsewhere in America, including the Vanderbilt University Highland Quad; 15 Penn Plaza; 270 Park Avenue, a state-of-the-art global headquarters for JPMorgan Chase; Port Authority’s Midtown Bus Terminal, which will serve the region’s 21st century public transportation needs; Harlem Boat House, which will offer a competitive rowing and academic success program to students from underserved communities throughout New York City; and the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Care Pavilion, a pioneering medical facility that will be at the forefront of innovation and patient care.