Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Overlooked #1: The Hearst Tower Atrium

I too rarely get the chance to go out at lunch during the week. If I do, it is usually just long enough to run out and buy something to eat mindlessly while I sit at my desk working. The sad state of the lunch hour is a topic for another day and another post.

My point for this post is, that in our haste, we often overlook so much of what is worth seeing in our environment. Fifteen extra minutes away from the office the other day allowed myself and a coworker to experience the atrium of the Hearst Tower and it was worth the little bit of extra time it took. I work only a few blocks away from the building and pass it all the time. I've thought about peeking in before but always feel rushed during the week. Any sense of adventure or exploration seems out of the question.

The space, with its dramatic yet gentle waterfalls, was light filled and upbeat. With the lovely sound of water and as my companion pointed out, a pleasant scent. Perhaps most enjoyable of all, was the guard who greeted us. Instead of making us feel like we were trespassing, he enthusiastically greeted us and took great pleasure in showing off the space where he works.

A stark contrast to the dark entrance of my office where even employees with IDs get the once over. I'd probably be grumpy too, if I spent all day in an atrium with two very large and not very attractive paintings as a view. All atriums should be as original and welcoming. Bravo to architect Lord Norman Foster for creating a truly beautiful space that is green to boot.

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