New York by Gehry

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Buyers, not renters, get all the love amenities architectural craziness. It’s funny, because even though 75 percent of New Yorkers are fully committed to the rental market because of the realities of our housing stock, starchitects naturally flock to the more remunerative, reputation-building condo buildings. But that doesn’t mean your rental has to dwell behind a boring facade, with a boxy facade designed by Hot Karl. No, there are a handful of rental buildings out there with legitimately interesting architectural features and serious design chops, from those with illustrious historic provenance to cutting-edge contemporary construction. Here now, a few of the most interesting.

But first, a caveat: we’ve purposely excluded the many cool, covetable projects, like the Police Building and Jean Nouvel’s 100 Eleventh Avenue, in which some of the owners do rent out their places—though those are a leasing option for architecture buffs, too. The developments listed were meant to be rentals all along. Know of any we missed? Hit up the tipline and let us know.


A Curbed favorite since it entered the conversation in 2006, Frank Gehry’s tower at 8 Spruce Street in FiDi solidified its place in the skyline as the tallest residential building in the city (though 432 Park Avenue will be snatching that title). The glimmering, undulating steel facade captivated the city’s archicritics, with former Times critic Nicolai Ouroussoff calling it “the finest skyscraper to rise in New York since Eero Saarinen’s CBS building went up 46 years ago.” [previously; photo via Curbed Flickr Pool/vivnsect]

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