New York City is world-renowned for a good many things, not least of which is its skyline. From the Empire State Building to the Chrysler Building to the sheer density of buildings and skyscrapers, NYC views have impressed people the world over for literal ages. In honor of National Skyscraper Day, we thought we’d celebrate by taking a look at some of the newer skyscrapers. These buildings are just as tall—or taller—and just as interesting as some of the iconic favorites, and they’re reshaping the skyline in ways just as impressive.
One Vanderbilt will be the most spectacular new skyscraper on the scene, and quite possibly the most riveting building in the city. Across the street from Grand Central Terminal, the office tower is set to be completed by the end of 2020 and is expected to rise a staggering 1,401 feet. Not only will it be one of New York’s tallest buildings, but also one of its greenest and healthiest. One Vanderbilt was designed with the highest LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and WELL certifications, meaning that not only is the building made to be environmentally sound, but also that everything in and about the building was designed to enhance the comfort, health, and well being of its occupants. This is an office building that was built with the employee in mind. The idea is that not only will it be spectacular to look at from the outside, but—more importantly—the experience from the inside will be pleasant and health-inducing. With column-free floorplates, floor-to-ceiling windows, and 360-degree views, every office is a corner office, every employee elevated. Like both the Empire State and the Chrysler Buildings, One Vanderbilt will rise to a single, delicate point in the sky. The design is bold and at the same time simple. The drawings for the design took three years to complete, and the building is an amalgamation of everything architects at Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates have ever designed. When finished, One Vanderbilt, at the center of the most famous transit hub in the world (Grand Central Station) will be the most modern and technologically advanced building in the city—as well as its greenest.
30 Hudson Yards
At the center of the “largest private real estate development in the history of the United States” is 30 Hudson Yards. This shingled-glass, triangular-roofed skyscraper rises 1,296 feet in the air, making it the third tallest office building in New York. Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox, the building tapers as it ascends, providing the most efficient floor plates, column-free office space, and floor-to-ceiling windows. Perhaps its most staggering hallmark, towering 1000 feet in the air, is the tallest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere. Dubbed “The Deck,” this extraordinary feature is a partial glass floor cut in a triangular shape which extends 65 feet out from the building. From this vantage point, one can look down from the 100th floor and actually take in the neighborhood 1000 feet below. The Deck is surrounded by a nine-foot wall of boldly angled glass, which the truly brave can lean out onto for adventurous gazing at Manhattan below. The building’s lobby is graced with artwork by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa. Eleven stainless steel spheres hang from the ceiling, representing global unity and cultural diversity. From the ground floor to the colossal “Deck,” 30 Hudson Yards holds its own as a skyscraper of the new NYC skyline.
685 First Avenue
While a very tall skyscraper is always a spectacular sight, height isn’t the only quality that makes a building stand out. The peculiarity of the Flatiron Building, the grace and movement of the Guggenheim Museum, the inherent symbolism in the Oculus—each unique and particular quality of a structure is what makes it noteworthy, spectacular. For 685 First Avenue, that quality is its timelessness. Draped in black glass, the 42-story residential tower rises along the East River in Midtown Manhattan. The building is minimalist, transparent, and has a lightness about it. At the same time, there is order and structure, with metal panel elements jutting out of the sheer glass as balconies, canopies, and corners. One remarkable feature is an architectural cut-out at the 27th and 28th floors, visible from across the East River. The interior palate is a serene white, contrasting the exterior black glass, and residences feature floor-to-ceiling windows for expansive views of the city and river. The first all-black glass building in the city, 685 First Avenue sits in a prominent location along the East River, simultaneously standing out and yet still fitting into its surroundings. It’s classic, timeless, and quintessential New York.