New New York: Designers Select NYC’s Most Iconic New Architecture

Architects, designers, and key influencers nominate their favorite recently constructed, must-see buildings, interiors, and public spaces in New York City.

The Big Apple is teeming with architecture in the form of towering skyscrapers, impressive museum spaces, and historical landmarks. But the city also features a number of hidden gems. Metropolis reached out to more than 35 architects, designers, and key influencers to nominate their favorite recently constructed, must-see buildings, interiors, and public spaces any visitor should experience.

designed by Herzog & de Meuron

All photography courtesy Mark Wickens

“In today’s modern skylines there are many projects that express our technological prowess by manipulating forms but achieve little in creating better architecture. This project, however, is different. As it escapes the grip of gravity and the relentless dark grid of the city, the building celebrates by unlocking its geometry in a graceful dance upward. In doing so, Herzog & de Meuron not only create a dynamic monument in the downtown skyline but solve a complex series of high-rise apartment issues—not the least of which are air, light, and a series of apartment layouts that afford residents incredible indoor and outdoor solutions and spacious, livable options.”—Lionel Ohayon, founder and CEO, ICRAVE

designed by WXY Architecture + Urban Design

“The SeaGlass places visitors at the depth of the ocean, inviting them to explore and experience another world just beyond the shoreline of Manhattan. This magical journey
sums up the weird and wonderful world that lies just beyond!”—Jake Barton, principal and founder, Local Projects

designed by Grimshaw

“TriPyramid Structures worked closely with the project team to construct Sky Reflector–Net, the central feature of the atrium. The space is grand, elegant, and the design is very clever. As both a structural engineer and a subway rider, I’m delighted to see a transportation hub that is ambitious but also practical and responsible.” —William Baker, structural engineering partner, SOM

designed by Santiago Calatrava

“Although the whole thing was ridiculously extravagant and wasteful, the building is breathtaking both inside and out. The stark whiteness of the forms, the scale, and the sleek organic forms, make visiting close to a religious experience.” —Joan Blumenfeld, global interior design director, Perkins+Will

designed by Michielli + Wyetzner Architects

“As with all other cities, New York City is challenged by a range of buildings that may not have an overt civic or public function to be celebrated as such. At the same time, infrastructural projects such as parking structures often end up becoming one’s threshold into the city: a front door. This modest project, located in the margins of a main promenade, brings attention to a latent iconic and urban function such a threshold could contain, and it does it with a certain economy.” —Nader Tehrani, principal, NADAAA

designed by Selldorf Architects

“This new-construction building is both modern and reflective of the industrial neighborhood with a clean, concrete facade with teak window frames and doors to lend a material warmth. Inside, the spaces are beautifully proportioned and flexible, accommodating installations on various scales. When completed, the project was also the first LEED-certified gallery in the U.S.” —Steven Learner, founder, Steven Learner Studio

designed by Dattner Architects and WXY

“A well-designed, sculptural piece of contemporary public architecture. Small yet monumental. Its completely utilitarian function is given significant design consideration.” —Egg Collective

“It’s social infrastructure at its most sublime…also a testament to a public client who sees the value in good design.” —Kai-Uwe Bergmann, partner, BIG

“I’m deeply impressed that this municipal building whose purpose is to hold salt for New York winters is so well conceived and executed. Its crystalline form is a beautiful adornment to an ever-growing roster of impressive buildings going up in the city.” —Joe Doucet, chief creative officer, Joe Doucet x Partners

“Celebrating the utilitarian crystalline salt that keeps New York City’s streets safe during winter storms, this sculptural architecture materializes from the city’s grid. A new land- mark on lower West Street, the shed houses tons of street salt, and a high-performance green roof harvests storm water to clean its trucks, while its faceted concrete
walls change hue with the refracted urban light.” —Cynthia E. Smith, curator of socially responsible design, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

designed by AvroKO

“1 Hotel Central Park is a calming oasis in the epicenter of Manhattan, with an ivy facade that welcomes you from the busy streets and elegant interiors that juxtapose the use of fallen trees, local reclaimed timber, live edge wood, natural stones, repurposed concrete, and brick with thoughtful use of soft linens, rich leathers, unique art, and clean- lined, modern furniture.” —Amy Lau, founder, Amy Lau Design

designed by Albert C. Ledner restored by Perkins Eastman

“The restored St. Vincent’s building embodies a particular kind of design character dating back to a certain time—you either love it or hate it! There’s so much history there too. The current location used to be the National Maritime Union building, and since the early 20th century the hospital as a whole served as a pillar of aid for so many unforgettable tragedies in New York.” —George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg, founders, Yabu Pushelberg


01) The Hills at Governors Island chosen by Vishaan Chakrabarti, founder, PAU
02) LeFrak Center at Lakeside Prospect Park chosen by Charlie Kaplan, principal, GLUCK+
03) Freek’s Mill chosen by Tsao & McKown Architects
04) Monica Castiglioni Jewelry chosen by Matilda McQuaid, deputy curatorial director, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
05) 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge chosen by Odile Hainaut, cofounder, WantedDesign
06) Brooklyn Bridge Park chosen by Roger Duffy, design partner, SOM; Robert Goodwin, architectural design director, Perkins+Will; and Michael Gabellini, partner, Gabellini Sheppard Associates
07) SeaGlass Carousel chosen by Jake Barton, principal and founder, Local Projects
08) Fulton Center chosen by William Baker, structural engineering partner, SOM
09) The World Trade Center Transportation Hub chosen by Joan Blumenfeld, global interior design dIrector, Perkins+Will
10) The Beekman chosen by James Biber, principal, Biber Architects
11) 56 Leonard chosen by Lionel Ohayon, founder and CEO, ICRAVE
12) Le Coucou chosen by Shashi Caan, founding partner, SC Collective
13) Pasquale Jones chosen by Brad Ascalon, principal, Brad Ascalon Studio NYC
14) Delancey and Essex Municipal Parking Garage chosen by Nader Tehrani, principal, NADAAA
15) Nalata Nalata chosen by Susan Lyons, president, Designtex
16) 15 Renwick chosen by Siamak Hakakian, partner, DDC
17) Spring Street Salt Shed chosen by Egg Collective; Kai-Uwe Bergmann, partner, BIG; Joe Doucet, founder and chief creative officer, Joe Doucet x Partners; and Cynthia E. Smith, curator of socially responsible design, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
18) Cadillac House chosen by Sonya Dufner, principal, Gensler
19) Lenox Health Greenwich Village chosen by George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg, founders, Yabu Pushelberg
20) Mad. Sq. Art chosen by Deborah Berke, founder, Deborah Berke Partners
21) David Zwirner Gallery chosen by Steven Learner, founder, Steven Learner Studio
22) Glasserie chosen by Marc Thorpe, founder, Marc Thorpe Design
23) Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate chosen by Alexander Williams, cofounder, Rich Brilliant Willing
24) Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park chosen by Tom Kundig, principal, Olson Kundig
25) 1 Hotel Central Park chosen by Amy Lau, founder, Amy Lau Design
26) Acne Studios Madison Avenue chosen by Adam Yarinsky, founding partner, Architecture Research Office
27) Sexy Taco/Dirty Cash Restaurant chosen by Tom Krizmanic, studio director, Gensler
28) CUMC Vagelos Education Center– Columbia University chosen by Richard Shemtov, founder and CEO, Dune
29) The High Bridge chosen by Susan Chin, executive director, Design Trust for Public Space

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