The Manhattan skyline is the Big Apple’s most iconic feature. And, much like the city itself, it’s always changing.
“[It’s] so dynamic, it’s almost a barometer for what’s going on in the rest of the world,” said Eran Chen, the founder of the Manhattan-based firm Office for Design & Architecture. “Every cultural change, every economical change, every social change is being expressed in New York City’s skyline.”
In the 10 years since The Real Deal launched, the skyline has seen some particularly significant changes, with the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site after the Sept. 11 attacks and a host of starchitect-designed condos, which sprang up during the mid-2000s economic boom. The now-famed 15 Central Park West, designed by Robert A.M. Stern, is a case in point.
New York now has “more beautiful, well-designed, well-thought-of, gorgeous buildings” than in the past, Chen said. “There are more iconic buildings.”
In particular, “on the residential side, I think there’s a revolution in Manhattan,” Chen said. “The idea of ‘build it and they’ll come’ is being questioned, and developers are being challenged to do real architecture.”
And the next few years will bring even more changes to the skyline. On the West Side, Durst Fetner has broken ground on its pyramid-shaped apartment building. Occupancy at the Bjarke Ingel–designed building, which is located at 625 West 57th Street, is expected to begin by spring 2015.
Meanwhile, when completed in 2015, Harry Macklowe’s 1,396-foot-tall 432 Park Avenue, designed by Rafael Viñoly, will become the tallest residential tower in the Western Hemisphere. That is, until Extell Development Company’s new 233-unit residential building at 225 West 57th Street (which will also be home to the city’s first Nordstrom department store) comes online. That building is slated to be at least 1,550 feet tall.
This month, TRD pinpointed some of the big additions to the skyline since the magazine launched in 2003.
New York by Gehry (Eight Spruce Street)
Developed by Forest City Ratner, 8 Spruce stands 870 feet tall and (for now) is the tallest fully completed residential tower in the Western Hemisphere. The building, Gehry’s first New York City residential tower, features waves of stainless steel that reflect light differently throughout the day. As the New York Times noted, it “ripples like the Statue of Liberty’s gown.” The bottom five floors have a brick façade designed to fit in with the rest of the neighborhood. “It used to be you’d get out of the subway and look for the World Trade Center to see which way was south,” said Lori Ordover, the founder of development consulting firm the Ordover Group. “Now you get out and there’s the [Gehry] building. You can figure out your way around in relation to that.”