Interior walls are kept to a minimum in order to maximize penetration of natural light throughout the building.
The lobby is connected to the Columbus Circle subway station. As part of the tower's development, the Hearst Corporation funded major improvements to various access points to this station.
Hearst Tower garnered the coveted Emporis Skyscraper Award 2006 and for the first time in the award's history, the accolade went for a second time to London's Foster + Partners, winner of the Emporis Skyscraper Award 2003 for 30 St Mary Axe.
A three-story water feature named "Icefall" courses through the grand atrium inside the entrance. The sheet of flowing water is supplied by the rainwater collection system, and helps to humidify and to chill the lobby.
The perimeter structure is called a "diagrid" (i.e. a diagonal grid), and is similar to that of 30 St Mary Axe.
Hearst Tower broke ground in May 2003, was topped out on February 11, 2005, and opened on October 9, 2006.
Light sensors in the building measure the amount of natural light coming in, and automatically minimize the usage of electric lighting inside.
A system on the roof collects rainwater and, instead of directing it into the sewer system, uses it to water plants throughout the building and to replace moisture lost through air conditioning.
Hearst Tower was a runner-up for the Royal Institute of British Architects' Lubetkin Prize, 2007. Now in its second year, the award (named in honour of architect and founder of Tecton, Berthold Lubetkin) recognises the most outstanding architectural work constructed outside the European Union by a member of the RIBA.
Each of the four-story triangles on the facade is 54 feet (16.5 meters) tall.
No vertical steel beams are used above the base. This is the first such case in any North American steel-framed skyscraper.
On 10th October 2007 the building was honoured with a British Construction Industry Award. Now in its twentieth year, the BCIA is Britain's foremost civil engineering and building award and is bestowed on projects outside Britain for which either the primary designer or main contractor is a UK-based British company.
Consuming much less energy than an average office building, this is the first office building in New York City to achieve the US Green Buildings Council's "Gold Rating" for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).