For more than a century, New York City has been the epicenter of the world’s greatest architectural innovations. From the mansions of the Gilded Age to art deco wonders such as the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings, New York City has been at the forefront of innovative architectural design.
As New York City moves into the first quarter of the 21st century, here are five architectural trends that are emerging within the city’s landscape:
1. Sleek Skyscrapers
New York City’s skyscrapers have gone on a diet — at least, that’s a metaphoric way to describe the pencil-thin, space-saving skyscrapers cropping up throughout Manhattan and the Financial District. The most famous example is Rafael Vinoly’s 432 Park Avenue, which, at 1,396 feet, is the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere. According to 2016 prices, apartments in these slenderized skyscrapers can cost as much as $11,000 per square foot, while penthouses can go for up to $95 million.
With the creation of the city’s first new skybridge in 80 years, SHoP Architecture is reinventing the traditional urban walkway. Installed between the curving twin towers of the American Copper Buildings at First Avenue and 36th Street, the skybridge will house a stunning see-through pool, fitness center, bar and hot tub. At 626 First Avenue, JDS Developments is following suit with its “infinity edge pool” skybridge.
3. Green Roofs and Walls
The rooftop garden has long been a city tradition, but today’s architects are taking the concept even further. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, the number of buildings slated to be implemented with LEEDS-friendly installations such as green roofs and walls is expected to increase dramatically. Planted with vegetation, these installations reduce temperatures and provide significant energy savings. One of the city’s most dramatic new residential projects, Tadao Ando’s 152 Elizabeth Street, features a green wall measuring 55 feet high and 99 feet wide.
4. Amazing Water Features
Inspired by the Hearst Tower’s three-story waterfall “Icefall,” today’s architects continue to bring water elements indoors, using cascading fountains, elegant see-through skybridge pools and sensational water walls. Tadao Ando’s 152 Elizabeth Street project, for example, will feature a spectacular floor-to-ceiling water wall, encased in grooved glass panels.
5. Ground Floor Marketplaces
Replacing the traditional cavernous lobby, today’s ground floor spaces have been recreated as urban marketplaces, complete with art galleries, cafes and boutiques. For example, the Rudin Management-designed residential tower at 215 East 68th Street recently renovated its lobby to include a city icon, gourmet store Grace’s Marketplace.
Today, New York City continues to fuel the imaginations of the world’s greatest architects. As the 21st century moves forward, the city will continue to inspire elegant, sophisticated design concepts that combine functional, environmentally sustainable amenities with cutting-edge artistic vision.