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6 Starchitect Designed Buildings You Need to Know

A collection of  star architects, or "starchitects", has emerged as the leading group of designers for everything from residential buildings to public works and museums. Residential buildings  bearing their names are coming up from New York to Miami and around the globe. Starchitects have been responsible for the "branding" of buildings and real estate. We have seen consumer preference shift toward branding in other segments and product categories, and now, we see the trend in real estate with high-end consumers being attracted to a "branded" building. 

While there are myriad factors that influence a buildings value such as location, functional design, and state of the market, starchitect designed buildings have seemed to maintain their value, or increase in value compared to those that are not branded in a similar way. 

New York City residential real estate is certainly participating in the Starchitect Boom. Here are 6 projects designed by Starchitects that are influencing the NYC real estate market you need to know:

100 E 53rd - Norman Foster


100 E 53rd Street by Foster + Partners is a new glass tower coming to Midtown East, situated next to the iconic Seagram building. The building is comprised of a nine-story base which contains luxury loft apartments and amenity spaces. A 63-story tower adjoins to the base, bringing the building to a striking 711 feet with an exterior glass curtain facade.

The 94 homes have a light and airy feel thanks to the glass curtain wall and large living spaces which include wall space optimized for art displays. Loft residences incorporate architectural elements  that are reminiscent of sleek and sophisticated downtown spaces including diamond-polished high-grade concrete flooring and architectural concrete walls. Finishes include brushed oak cabinetry and Gaggenau appliances in the kitchen, and a wire brushed  oak vanity, radiant heated floors and steam showers (select residences) in the master baths. 

Amenities will include a wellness center equipped with steam room, sauna, and spa as well as a swimming pool, lounge, and library. Acclaimed Michelin Star chef Joel Robuchon will be bringing a restaurant to the location. 

About Foster + Partners: British based firm founded in 1967 that is known for its work on a variety of projects including public infrastructure, airports, civic and cultural buildings, offices, and private homes. They have buildings in six continents. The Pritzker Prize Jury described Norman Foster as “an architect who cares passionately about the future of this planet, an avowed optimist with a firm belief in technological progress, but who also believes that architecture is about people and the quality of life.”

520 W 28th Street- Zaha Hadid


520 W 28th Street is the late Hadid's only project in New York, and thus, has an inherent special value to it as it brings her signature elements along the High Line. The design is based on graceful curves inspired by nature that are a constrast to the hard angles generally seen in residential architecture. The hand-rubbed metal facade is one continuous line that works its way toward the sky. The curves of the building create a distinct chevron pattern on the exterior of the building, linking residence exteriors and interiors together in one sweeping movement. 

The building is located directly on the High Line and will be comprised of 39 residences, with each loft-like home uniquely crafted and featuring a custom sculptural element in an elegant opalescent finish. Interiors integrate seamlessly into the sculptured nature of the building from the kitchen islands to the terraces. Kitchens are custom designed by Zaha Hadid in collaboration with Italian kitchen specialists, Boffi, and include wide plank oak flooring and Gaggenau appliances. Master baths are characterized by white marble contrasted against black crosscut Nero Marquinia marble with a freestanding six-foot tub by Teuco Guuzzini. 

Amenities will include a 75 ft sky lit pool, private iMax movie theater, wellness level, and lounge and entertainment suite with a High Line terrace.

About Zaha Hadid: London based firm, Zaha Hadid Architects, known for their innovative exploration of design and practice is largely recognized for their work outside of the United States. Founding partner, Zaha Hadid, received the Pritzker Prize in 2004. Her project at 520 W 28th Street is the firm’s only project in New York, and sadly, remained uncompleted at the time of her sudden death in 2016. The first has 950 projects in 44 countries.

160 Leroy- Herzog & de Meuron


160 Leroy draws its design inspiration from the practices of famed Brazilian architect, Oscar Niemeyer. Speaking of the project, Niemeyer describes the building as "curvaceous, sensual, free-flowing, seductive, and sexy."

160 Leroy will have a white concrete façade with diamond faceted floor-to-ceiling windows that reflect the light and water. The building spans a full city block and will sit atop a bed of light that gives the illusion that it is floating among the streets. 

The 49 residences feature bespoke layouts designed to maximize light and views, and which have also been designed to maximize wall space for art displays. Residences feature wide-plank Larch wood floors from Scandinavia, wood burning fireplaces, and custom designed bathrooms, each unique from the other.  Custom furniture packages and layouts available for purchase have been curated by French designer Christian Liaigre.

Amenities at 160 Leroy will include a 70 foot pool and whirlpool spa, fitness center, yoga & pilates studios, private massage room, kids’ clubhouse, and a gourmet take-out and delivery restaurant.

About Herzog & De Meuron: Founded in 1978 in Basel, Switzerland by Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, whose careers closely paralleled one another. They received the Pritzker Prize in 2001 and New York Times Magazine called them “one of the most admired architecture firms in the world” in 2006. The firm is known for their transformation of materials and surfaces through exploration of new treatments and techniques. The firm is also involved in other NYC residential projects including 56 Leonard and 70 Vestry.

53 W 53- Jean Nouvel


53 W 53 is a new tower coming to Midtown, rising 1,050 feet above The Museum of Modern Art. The design features multiple different tapered surfaces that pay homage to the classic towers that built the New York skyline but which also serve as a vision of the skyscrapers of the future.

The building is comprised of 145 residences with interiors by Thierry Despont that include bespoke kitchens and baths as well as elegantly crafted mahogany doors. Kitchens include custom back-painted glass cabinets with polished nickel detailing design by Thierry Despont, Sub-Zero and Miele appliances, and polished Statuary marble countertops. Masterbaths feature luxurious finishes throughout such as Verona limestone floors, Noir St. Laurent marble feature walls, Lefroy Brooks cast iron soaking tub, radiant heated floors, and Dornbracht fittings.

Building amenities will include a 65 foot lap pool, wine vault, library, park view lounge, and wellness center.

About Jean Nouvel: The Parisian based firm is one of the most celebrated across the globe, having completed projects including museums, concert halls, opera houses, hotels, and luxury residences. Nouvel has a long standing career that goes back to the 1970s, with the establishment of Ateliers Jean Nouvel in 1994. Jean Nouvel has built museums, concert halls, conference centers, theaters, hotels, collective housing, office buildings, commercial centers, and private residences around the globe. Received the Pritzker Prize in 2008.

565 Broome Street- Renzo Piano


565 Broome Street is Renzo Piano's first residential project in New York City. He brings his iconic design and approach to this luxurious residential project located in SoHo. The 30 story building will stand out in the SoHo landscape, set alongside its smaller scale neighbors.  Renzo Piano prides himself on his careful attention to materials, and 565 Broome is no exception with an austere material palette that accentuates the quality of those selected. The overall design and approach to the project is an expression of key materials. Design is characterized by low-iron, extra wide glass and “tube” shaped living spaces in select residences which are a character of Renzo Piano

Interiors are designed by renowned firm RDAI who take a similar approach to their work as Piano, highlighting craftsmanship and materials. At 565 Broome, they have found beauty in natural materials such as stone,  white oak, glass, and concrete. RDAI is known for its work in global Hermes and Saint Laurent stores.

Amenities include a private gated driveway, outdoor landscaped terrace, 55 foot swimming pool, fitness center, lounge, and library.

About Renzo Piano: Italian architect Renzo Piano is known for his refined approach to his work which can be seen around the world. He received the Pritzker Prize in 1998 with the Jury comparing him to the likes of Leonard Da Vinci and Michelangelo. He founded his firm, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, in 1981. Piano is most celebrated for his work in designed the Centre Pompidou in Paris. In New York, he has also designed the NYT Building and the new Whitney Museum.

125 Greenwich Street- Raphael Viñoly


Details are limited and aspects have changed multiple times since the original permits were filed with the Department of Building, but we do know some details about the glass tower that is rising just below the World Trade Center site. 

125 Greenwich Street is slated to rise 898 feet (70 stories) according to the Vinoly Website, and include 273 condos. Vinoly reduced the height down to 70 stories from the permitted 88 out of respect for the neighboring 4 WTC tower. At 88 stories, it would stand taller than 4 WTC.

The building will include a large floor plate which will allow for more generous apartment layouts. The exterior will be done in a glass façade which will extend more than its structural mass to the site base with two I-beam shear walls supporting the building core and eliminating the need for all but four of the interior columns The building is designed to resist the wind and will feature open-air, hexagonally shaped mechanical floors similar to the open-air concept seen at  Vinoly's 432 Park Avenue.

Amenities, situated on the upper floors, are  slated to include a fitness center, spa, squash court, library, demo kitchen, and tech bar.

About Raphael Vinoly: Uruguayan architect who founded Raphael Vinoly Architects in 1983 with offices around the globe including New York, London, and Buenos Aires. Vinoly has designed buildings and museums around the world and is most recently recognized for his design of 432 Park Avenue in New York.