Entries in Blogfest 2011 (1)
I recently had the pleasure of attending Blogfest 2011 in New York City, the inaugural design immersion extravaganza sponsored by Kravet, a global leader in home furnishings. Beth Greene, the Vice President of Marketing and Communications, and her team created the fantastic experiential conference that brought design bloggers together to have a first-hand glimpse into the company's world. Exclusive insider access was granted to explore various facets of the design community, including magazine publishing; visits to renowned design centers, and a few meet-and-greets with renowned interior designers.
The moment that I heard about the event, I knew that I wanted to attend! It’s not every day that an opportunity is extended to go behind the scenes of some of New York's most exclusive design venues. Another plus was that it was only 20 minutes away from home! I was fortunate enough to register early, as only 120 bloggers from 29 states, and 5 Canadian provinces were in attendance. It was a hot ticket, because the waiting list was just as long!
Overall, I had an enjoyable time, exploring and seeing places throughout the city that were new to me. Since the conference was a three-day whirlwind of dazzling events, I will have a series of posts covering many of the highlights. I extend my sincere thanks to Beth Greene, Jennifer Powell, and the entire Kravet family for being such gracious hosts!
Day One: The Hearst Tower
A lovely lunch, and the conference’s opening afternoon sessions took place in the Columbus Circle area, at none other than the Hearst Tower. Publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst, commissioned the original six-story cast limestone Art Deco building, which was completed in 1928. Joseph Urban in association with George B. Post and Sons designed the building, which stretched one full block along the west side of Eighth Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets. It was designated a New York City Landmark in 1976.
The Hearst Corporation is one of the nation's largest diversified media companies. Its major interests include magazine, newspaper and business publishing, cable networks, television and radio broadcasting, internet businesses, TV production and distribution, newspaper features distribution and real estate.
The company expanded its headquarters in 2003, adding a tower containing 1 million square feet of office space. Architect Lord Norman Foster designed the new 46-story tower that received glowing reviews for its historic preservation, sustainability practice, and design. Nicolai Ouroussoff, architecture critic for the New York Times, offered this assessment of Norman Foster's new Hearst Tower in June 2006:
Crisscrossed by a grid of bold steel cross-braces, its chiseled glass form rises with blunt force from the core of the old 1928 Hearst Building on Eighth Avenue, at 57th Street. Past and present don't fit seamlessly together here; they collide with ferocious energy.
This 46-story tower may be the most muscular symbol of corporate self-confidence to rise in New York since the 1960's, when Modernism was in full bloom, and most Americans embraced technological daring as a sure route to social progress.
The Hearst Tower also has the distinction of being the first building in New York City to receive a gold rating certification under the US Green Buildings Councils Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. According to the Hearst's website:
- 90% of the Tower's structural steel contains recycled materials
- 26% less energy is used than in a building constructed to standard building code
- The annual carbon dioxide reduction associated with the decreased energy usage is 869 tons, equating to 174 cars being taken off the road
- The roof collects rainwater, reducing the amount of water dumped into the City's sewer system during rainfall by 25%
Yes, the building was quite spectacular in person. Next up, I will chronicle some of the highlights from meeting with the editors of House Beautiful, Veranda, and Town And Country magazines.