The Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, One World Trade Center: all buildings that instantly come to mind when you think of the iconic New York City skyline. But more and more new skyscrapers are beginning to pop up in that classic view. And while it’s likely many an architects’ dream to contribute a design to the most famous skyline in the world, only a handful of world-renowned “starchitects” get to do it. Ahead, 6sqft has rounded up 11 starchitect-designed condo buildings that you can actually live in, from veterans like Robert A.M. Stern and Renzo Piano to some more up-and-comers like David Adjaye and Bjarke Ingels.
Robert A.M. Stern
Via Vornado Realty Trust and Robert A.M. Stern Architects
Since its first closing nearly a year ago, Robert A.M. Stern’s 220 Central Park South has now surpassed the $1 billion mark in sales according to data compiled by CityRealty. The milestone is definitely not surprising considering this is the same building where Billionaire Ken Griffin bought the country’s most expensive home ever sold for $239,958,219. And with an average sales price of $6,934 per square foot for its 39 total closings, 220 is also the city’s most expensive condo building.
15 Central Park West via Wikimedia
With 10 years of closings officially on record, 15 Central Park West takes the top spot as New York City’s best performing building for yet another year. According to a CityRealty 100 report released Wednesday, the average price per square foot of units at Robert A.M. Stern’s “Limestone Jesus” was roughly $6,405, between April 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018. In that time period the building saw a total of eight sales, including apartments which sold for $28 million and $21.5 million. Sales at the limestone tower were able to outperform newer developments, like One57 and 432 Park Avenue.
When I first interviewed Edward Baquero, President of Corigin Real Estate Group, his art curator, Elizabeth Fiore, was furiously texting him images from the Armory Show with potential art for two remaining walls in the stately 20 East End’s octagonal lobby. Baquero is a perfectionist to the nth degree with an obsessive eye for detail, highly skilled research capabilities, a luxurious aesthetic sensibility and a ridiculously funny sense of humor. These two alcove walls were just as important to Baquero as every other detail in his building, no matter how big or small. Nothing in 20 East End was chosen without thorough research and reason followed by multiple iterations of tests and retests.
What Baquero created in 20 East End evokes a time when the Astors, Vanderbilts, and Rockefellers dominated Manhattan and defined luxury. Baquero is bringing back the best of the past and melding it with the present to create a model many will replicate in the future. Ahead, 6sqft talks with him about how he achieved this, his inspirations, and what it was like working with Robert A.M. Stern.
Proposed rendering for 555 West 22nd Street via Related Companies / Robert A.M.Stern Architects
The classic limestone looks of Robert A.M. Stern lend themselves well to the waterfront, and mega-developer Related is certainly looking to capitalize on the starchitect’s expertise. They’ve previously tapped Stern for their Tribeca Park rental in Battery Park City, Superior Ink condo in the West Village, and the under-construction Tribeca condo 70 Vestry. Now, Related has once again brought RAMSA on board to design a condo tower at 555 West 22nd Street, which is being developed as the Hudson Residences along with the just-revealed High Line-straddling towers by Thomas Heatherwick. Proposed renderings uncovered by CityRealty on an EB-5 funding page detail a 22-story, subdued brick building that features Stern’s signature boxy aesthetic.
Photo of the protest courtesy of Nathan Eddy
After Olayan America and Chelsfield revealed plans last week for a $300 million renovation of the building at 550 Madison Avenue, known as the AT&T Building, criticism quickly followed. Members of the architecture community, including New York architect Robert A.M. Stern, rallied together last Friday at the base of the Philip Johnson-designed skyscraper, to protest Snøhetta’s proposal to replace the building’s base with a scalloped glass front (h/t Dezeen). Protestors held signs that read “Hands off my Johnson,” “Save the Stone,” and “Save AT&T.” Plus, a petition is currently being circulated on Change.org in an attempt to preserve Johnson’s iconic AT&T Building by having the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission officially designate it as a city landmark.
If there’s one neighborhood in NYC where new developments face the most challenges it’s Greenwich Village. One of the city’s first historic districts and once home to preservation godmother Jane Jacobs, the low-scale community is arguably the most vocal and steadfast in the city. But it looks like Madison Realty Capital didn’t get the memo, as they’ve tapped starchitect Robert A.M. Stern to design a hulking, 27-story condo tower at 14 Fifth Avenue, just a block north of Washington Square Park, according to NY Yimby. And while Stern’s signature classy, limestone design fits in well with the stretch’s other apartment buildings, the proposed 367-foot height will likely not sit well with locals. However, at this point, the tower is merely conceptual and will still require a public review need Landmarks Preservation Commission approvals.
Rendering of Edwin’s Place via Robert AM Stern Architects
The New York City Planning Commission on Wednesday unanimously approved a proposal for 125 affordable units designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects at 3 Livonia Avenue in Brownsville. The proposed Brooklyn development, called Edwin’s Place, would feature an eight-story building with 69 one-, two-, and three-bedroom units and 56 studios. Edwin’s Place is being developed by nonprofit partners Breaking Ground and the African American Planning Commission, Inc. The proposal, which won approval from Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Community Board 16, will move on to the City Council for a final review.
520 Park Avenue, well on its way to being the tallest skyscraper on the Upper East Side, is putting its final crowning members in place, CityRealty reports. The developer of the 54-story tower just off Park Avenue at East 60th Street is the multi-generational Zeckendorf real estate dynasty who brought us 50 U.N. Plaza, 15 Central Park West and the neighborhood-transforming Worldwide Plaza and Union Square’s Zeckendorf Towers.
With deflatgate behind him and another Super Bowl win under his belt, Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady is looking to upgrade apartments. The Post reports that he and supermodel wife Gisele Bündchen may be trading up from the 11th floor spread at Tribeca‘s 70 Vestry Street they bought for $20 million in August to a $35 million unit on the floor above. Why? The speculation is that Brady wants to be on floor 12, the same number as his jersey. Perhaps it’s pure ego or superstition since his jersey was recently stolen after the big game. Either way, the Robert A.M. Stern-designed building won’t be complete until next year, so the power couple has some time to make a final Hail Mary.