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The 10 Most Eye-Catching Pieces of Starchitecture in NYC

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What would New York City be without starchitects? Or better yet, what would New York City look like without starchitects? A heckuva lot less interesting, that's for sure. Rockstar architects like Frank Gehry, Norman Foster, and Thom Mayne have added pizazz to our built environment, and other stars, including Santiago Calatrava and Christian de Portzamparc, are making their marks. Here now, we bring you a map of the city's ten most eye-catching pieces of starchitecture, both built and under construction.

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1. New York by Gehry

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8 Spruce St.
New York, NY 10038
(212) 877-2220
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A Curbed favorite since it entered the conversation in 2006, Frank Gehry's tower at 8 Spruce Street solidified its place in the skyline as the tallest residential building in the city (though One57 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." Photo by Structures:NYC/Curbed Flickr pool.

2. Wtc Transportation Hub

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Church St, New York, NY
New York, NY 10007

Like all aspects of the World Trade Center, the soaring transportation hub, designed by Santiago Calatrava, has seen multiple construction delays, but it should be open by 2015. The structure has undergone many design changes, but when complete, it will still be an awesome, iconic building its 150-foot high glass and steel "wings," value-engineering be damned!

3. Hearst Tower

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300 W 57th St.
New York, NY 10019
(212) 903-5000
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Norman Foster's triangular blue glass and steel tower made Curbed's top 10 list of the best buildings of the decade back in 2011, and we'd still award it a spot today. Erected in 2006, the building rises out of the landmarked base of the original Hearst building. It gets extra points for the cool two-story high water feature in the entrance and four-story atrium. Photo by Mattron/Curbed Flickr pool.

625 W 57th St
New York, NY 10019

Bjarke Ingels is making his NYC debut in a big way: with the magic pyramid tower known as W57. The look of the residential tower has been described as "what you might have if snow drifted steeply into the corner of a yard, and then you removed the yard." Construction has started on the building, and if all goes as planned, it should be ready for move-in by spring 2015.

5. The Cooper Union

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41 Cooper Sq.
New York, NY 10003
(212) 353-4000
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Designed by Thom Mayne of Morphosis, the Cooper Union's 41 Cooper Square is a dramatic, geometric building of perforated panels and steel. As its just across the street from Curbed's office, we've always had a close relationship with the building and its flashy cut-out facade and epic staircase. In 2010, the Municipal Art Society named it the city's "Best New Building." Photo by Structures:NYC/Curbed Flickr pool.

6. Tower Verre

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53 W 53rd St
New York, NY 10019

Jean Nouvel's contentious Tower Verre has suffered through many a development battles, but there was recently action at the site, so we still have hope. The shard-like tower could rise 1,050-feet beside MoMA, with a sloping, angular facade. Inside, there would be condos, retail, and space for the museum.

7. Storefront for Art and Architecture

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97 Kenmare St.
New York, NY 10012

The Storefront for Art and Architecture is the smallest building on this list, but it's arguably the most unique. Designed by Steven Holl, the long facade of the small triangular space consists of a series of rotating panels that can be opened or closed to change the shape of the gallery. Photo by Scott Lynch/Curbed Flickr pool.

8. 56 Leonard

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56 Leonard St
New York, NY 10013

When construction at the jenga-like 56 Leonard resumed in October after three years of delays, Curbed was overjoyed. The Herzog & de Meuron-designed tower received an enthusiastic initial response from most archicritics back in 2008, garnering such praise as "inspired," "anti-cookie cutter," and "the capstone to an era."

9. IAC Building

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555 W 18th St.
New York, NY 10011

Frank Gehry's wavy IAC Building, finished in 2007, has been the subject of many archicritic debates. Is it a bold, innovative departure from Manhattan's office buildings? Or is a blobby mess, hulking over its neighbors? Whatever you think, there's no denying that the tiered, twisty tower is a head-turner. Photo via Wikipedia.

10. 400 Park Avenue South

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400 Park Ave S
New York, NY 10016

Known in the Curbediverse as the "Fortress of Glassitude," Christian de Portzamparc's 400 Park Avenue South came back to life this spring. The 40-story tower looks like a collection of crystals jutting from the ground, which is an appropriately luxurious image since the 363 units will be ultra fancy. The millionaires should be moving in by 2015.

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1. New York by Gehry

8 Spruce St., New York, NY 10038

A Curbed favorite since it entered the conversation in 2006, Frank Gehry's tower at 8 Spruce Street solidified its place in the skyline as the tallest residential building in the city (though One57 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." Photo by Structures:NYC/Curbed Flickr pool.

8 Spruce St.
New York, NY 10038

2. Wtc Transportation Hub

Church St, New York, NY, New York, NY 10007

Like all aspects of the World Trade Center, the soaring transportation hub, designed by Santiago Calatrava, has seen multiple construction delays, but it should be open by 2015. The structure has undergone many design changes, but when complete, it will still be an awesome, iconic building its 150-foot high glass and steel "wings," value-engineering be damned!

Church St, New York, NY
New York, NY 10007

3. Hearst Tower

300 W 57th St., New York, NY 10019

Norman Foster's triangular blue glass and steel tower made Curbed's top 10 list of the best buildings of the decade back in 2011, and we'd still award it a spot today. Erected in 2006, the building rises out of the landmarked base of the original Hearst building. It gets extra points for the cool two-story high water feature in the entrance and four-story atrium. Photo by Mattron/Curbed Flickr pool.

300 W 57th St.
New York, NY 10019

4. W57

625 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019

Bjarke Ingels is making his NYC debut in a big way: with the magic pyramid tower known as W57. The look of the residential tower has been described as "what you might have if snow drifted steeply into the corner of a yard, and then you removed the yard." Construction has started on the building, and if all goes as planned, it should be ready for move-in by spring 2015.

625 W 57th St
New York, NY 10019

5. The Cooper Union

41 Cooper Sq., New York, NY 10003

Designed by Thom Mayne of Morphosis, the Cooper Union's 41 Cooper Square is a dramatic, geometric building of perforated panels and steel. As its just across the street from Curbed's office, we've always had a close relationship with the building and its flashy cut-out facade and epic staircase. In 2010, the Municipal Art Society named it the city's "Best New Building." Photo by Structures:NYC/Curbed Flickr pool.

41 Cooper Sq.
New York, NY 10003

6. Tower Verre

53 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019

Jean Nouvel's contentious Tower Verre has suffered through many a development battles, but there was recently action at the site, so we still have hope. The shard-like tower could rise 1,050-feet beside MoMA, with a sloping, angular facade. Inside, there would be condos, retail, and space for the museum.

53 W 53rd St
New York, NY 10019

7. Storefront for Art and Architecture

97 Kenmare St., New York, NY 10012

The Storefront for Art and Architecture is the smallest building on this list, but it's arguably the most unique. Designed by Steven Holl, the long facade of the small triangular space consists of a series of rotating panels that can be opened or closed to change the shape of the gallery. Photo by Scott Lynch/Curbed Flickr pool.

97 Kenmare St.
New York, NY 10012

8. 56 Leonard

56 Leonard St, New York, NY 10013

When construction at the jenga-like 56 Leonard resumed in October after three years of delays, Curbed was overjoyed. The Herzog & de Meuron-designed tower received an enthusiastic initial response from most archicritics back in 2008, garnering such praise as "inspired," "anti-cookie cutter," and "the capstone to an era."

56 Leonard St
New York, NY 10013

9. IAC Building

555 W 18th St., New York, NY 10011

Frank Gehry's wavy IAC Building, finished in 2007, has been the subject of many archicritic debates. Is it a bold, innovative departure from Manhattan's office buildings? Or is a blobby mess, hulking over its neighbors? Whatever you think, there's no denying that the tiered, twisty tower is a head-turner. Photo via Wikipedia.

555 W 18th St.
New York, NY 10011

10. 400 Park Avenue South

400 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10016

Known in the Curbediverse as the "Fortress of Glassitude," Christian de Portzamparc's 400 Park Avenue South came back to life this spring. The 40-story tower looks like a collection of crystals jutting from the ground, which is an appropriately luxurious image since the 363 units will be ultra fancy. The millionaires should be moving in by 2015.

400 Park Ave S
New York, NY 10016