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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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New York by Gehry

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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.

Wtc Transportation Hub

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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!

Hearst Tower

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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.

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.

The Cooper Union

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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.

Tower Verre

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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.

Storefront for Art and Architecture

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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.

56 Leonard

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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."

IAC Building

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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.

400 Park Avenue South

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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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New York by Gehry

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.

Wtc Transportation Hub

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!

Hearst Tower

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.

W57

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.

The Cooper Union

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.

Tower Verre

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.

Storefront for Art and Architecture

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.

56 Leonard

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."

IAC Building

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.

400 Park Avenue South

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.