Penthouses embody how form is following finance. As their own sector of the luxury real estate market, these spaces are often reserved for the richest clients and investors. From heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post's iconic 54-room mansion in the sky, to top-floor units in mid-rise developments, penthouse designs have been continuously reimagined to take architecture and interior design to new heights. The idea of a penthouse apartment, especially in skyscraper design, dates back to the 1920s. Economic growth fueled a construction boom in New York as people moved to the city. At the time, building rooftops were usually reserved for tight servant's quarters, as well as maintenance and utility systems. As buildings grew taller, residents desired access to light and views, and they began illegally subletting these spaces. In 1925, the city legalized penthouse living, and apartments have become increasingly more extravagant ever since. The following projects showcase how penthouse architecture is tied to views, luxury and wealth.
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