Home to Pratt, Parsons, and a number of other top design schools, New York City has a storied history of interior design. Elsie de Wolf worked with Gotham’s elites, designing for the Vanderbilts, the Morgans, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor in the early aughts of the 20th century. The city has always drawn innovators from all over the world to design projects with the biggest budgets. The designers on this list are the top firms continuing New York City’s tradition of setting interior trends for the world to follow.
The modern office got its start in New York City in 1915, when a local insurance company transitioned to the low-profile desks and open floor plans that are trending again 100 years later. From Wall Street to Silicon Alley, New York City is a global business center for companies in all sectors and stages of development. Brand new start-ups and Fortune 500 companies are taking advantage of the new construction and historical spaces the city has to offer, teaming with renowned architects to create workspaces that will push business forward. The architects on this list are realizing ideal offices for industry leaders and earning national recognition for their work.
New York’s food scene is as diverse and competitive as New Yorkers themselves. Currently, 77 restaurants across Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn are Michelin-starred, and their cuisines originate from every corner of the globe. In the city that celebrity chefs like Tom Colicchio, Daniel Boulud, Jean-Georges Vongerichten call home, restaurants must distinguish themselves through their menus and their design. The 10 firms on our top restaurant architect list design eateries that make a splash and set lasting trends in the ever-evolving New York City restaurant landscape, winning some of the highest industry awards and finding placement in top magazines.
Design-build firms provide architecture and construction services via one contract and one team, eliminating the headaches that arise from attempting to keep a client on the same page as the multiple partners deliver on a project. The streamlined approach often means projects can be executed with shorter timelines and more efficient budgets. It’s a perfect approach for New Yorkers who want it done well and want it done now, all with the impeccable quality that New York provides. The 10 design-build firms on this list are executing luxury projects using comprehensive methods.
The New York City skyline is an emblem of industry, commerce, and our ability to push the limits of engineering and design. The landscape is punctuated by Art Deco, Gothic, and contemporary towers that reflect the melange of individuals who pass through their grand lobbies and green plazas. Though the design firms behind the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building are no more, other practices — some with a long history and others with less than a decade under their belts — are designing the structures that will one day define the city. Here are the top firms shaping New York City’s future.