New York City Architecture Guide: Discover 10 Must-See Landmarks and 20 Contemporary Attractions

New York City Architecture Guide: Discover 10 Must-See Landmarks and 20 Contemporary Attractions

As the largest city in the United States, New York City is one of the most diverse and vibrant cities in the world, recognized by many as the center for global media, culture, fashion art, and finance. The city was founded in 1624 by settlers from the Dutch Republic and has since grown into “the city that never sleeps”.

While almost every style of architecture exists in New York City, the metropolis is most well known for its skyscrapers, both in historical styles such as Neoclassical and Art Deco and in their varied contemporary expressions. The first building to bring the world's tallest title to New York was the New York World Building, in 1890. Later, New York City was home to the world's tallest building for 75 continuous years, starting with the Park Row Building in 1899.

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The following list showcases 30 iconic modern and contemporary buildings that will provide a good starting point for your first visit to New York City, including 10 must-see landmarks and 20 contemporary attractions from renowned architects such as Foster + Partners, BIG, Heatherwick Studio, David Chipperfield, Skidmore Owings & Merrill, Santiago Calatrava and Herzon & de Meuron.

Must-See Iconic Buildings

Seagram Building / Mies van der Rohe

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Seagram Building / Mies van der Rohe. Image © Ken Ohyama from Funabashi, Japan

Chrysler Building / William Van Alen

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Chrysler Building / William Van Alen. Image © Bokic Bojan via Shutterstock

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum / Frank Lloyd Wright

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Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum / Frank Lloyd Wright. Image © Tinnaporn Sathapornnanont via Shutterstock

TWA Terminal / Eero Saarinen

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TWA Terminal / Eero Saarinen. Image © Acroterion via Wikimedia Commons

Empire State Building / Shreve, Lamb and Harmon

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Empire State Building / Shreve, Lamb and Harmon. Image © Marc Venema via Shutterstock

Flatiron Building / Daniel Burnham

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https://www.archdaily.com/109134/ad-classics-flatiron-building-daniel-burnham. Image via Wikimedia Commons

New Art Museum / SANAA

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New Museum / SANAA. Image © Laurian Ghinițoiu

550 Madison Avenue (formerly AT&T Building) / Philip Johnson and John Burgee

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550 Madison Avenue (formerly AT&T Building) / Philip Johnson and John Burgee. Image © Citizen59 via Wikimedia Commons

New York City High Line / James Corner Field Operations, Diller Scofidio + Renfro

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New York City High Line / James Corner Field Operations, Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Image © Iwan Baan

Apple Store Fifth Avenue / Foster + Partners

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Apple Store Fifth Avenue / Foster + Partners. Image © Aaron Hargreaves, Foster + Partners

New Attractions

One World Trade Center / Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

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One World Trade Center / Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Image © James Ewing

World Trade Center Transportation Hub / Santiago Calatrava

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World Trade Center Transportation Hub / Santiago Calatrava. Image © Hufton+Crow

3 World Trade Center / Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

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3 World Trade Center / Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. Image Courtesy of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

The Shed, a Center for the Arts / Diller Scofidio + Renfro

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The Shed, a Center for the Arts / Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Image © Iwan Baan

10, 30, 55 Hudson Yards / KPF

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10, 30, 55 Hudson Yards / KPF. Image Courtesy of KPF + Connie Zhou

MoMA Expansion / Diller Scofidio + Renfro

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MoMA Expansion / Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Image © Brett Beyer

Little Island Park / Heatherwick Studio + MNLA

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Little Island Park / Heatherwick Studio + MNLA. Image © Timothy Schenck

SUMMIT One Vanderbilt / KPF

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SUMMIT One Vanderbilt / KPF. Image Courtesy of One Vanderbilt and KPF

Vessel Public Landmark / Heatherwick Studio

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Vessel Public Landmark / Heatherwick Studio. Image Courtesy of Michael Moran for Related-Oxford

111 West 57th Street / SHoP Architects

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111 West 57th Street / SHoP Architects. Image © Hayes Davidson

The Whitney Museum of American Art at Gansevoort / Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Cooper Robertson

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The Whitney Museum of American Art at Gansevoort / Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Cooper Robertson. Image © Nic Lehoux

Moynihan Train Hall / Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

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Moynihan Train Hall / Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Image © Lucas Blair Simpson

56 Leonard Street / Herzog & de Meuron

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56 Leonard Street / Herzog & de Meuron. Image © Iwan Baan

VIΛ 57 West / BIG

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VIΛ 57 West / BIG. Image © Nic Lehoux

Hunters Point Library / Steven Holl Architects

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Hunters Point Library / Steven Holl Architects. Image © Paul Warchol

520 West 28th / Zaha Hadid Architects

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520 West 28th / Zaha Hadid Architects. Image © Hufton+Crow

The Smile Residential Building / BIG

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The Smile Residential Building / BIG. Image © Pernille and Thomas Loof

Jewelbox Housing the Restored Jane's Carousel / Jean Nouvel

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Jewelbox Housing the Restored Jane's Carousel / Jean Nouvel. Image © Ronald Halbe

Spring Street Salt Shed / Dattner Architects

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Spring Street Salt Shed / Dattner Architects. Image © Pavel Bendov via Wikimedia Commons

The Bryant Tower / David Chipperfield Architects

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The Bryant Tower / David Chipperfield Architects. Image © Simon Menges

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About this author
Cite: Maria-Cristina Florian. "New York City Architecture Guide: Discover 10 Must-See Landmarks and 20 Contemporary Attractions" 13 Jul 2022. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/97964/architecture-city-guide-new-york-city> ISSN 0719-8884

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