Robert A.M. Stern and Sir Norman Foster may get all the glory, but SLCE Architects gets all the business.
The firm, which is a major player in Robert A.M. Stern’s limestone 220 Central Park and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s sleek 252 East 57th Street, has been the most prolific design shop for residential buildings in Manhattan over the past five years, according to a review of Department of Buildings data by The Real Deal.
Looking back at new-building plans filed with the department from November 2010, TRD calculated SLCE (pronounced “slice”) to be either the design architect or the architect of record behind more than 6,500 units of housing in the borough.
(Click on each architecture firm to see a complete profile page on TRData.)
Manhattan’s Top Residential Architects
Firm Projects Units Largest Project Units Status
SLCE Architects 27 6,646 606 West 57th Street 1,028 Planned
Goldstein, Hill & West 21 4,774 605 West 42nd Street 1,175 Complete
Handel Architects 10 3,212 111 Washington Street 429 Planned
Ismael Leyva Architects 12 2,023 261 Hudson Street 201 Under construction
Skidmore Owings & Merrill 4 1,484 401 West 31st Street 790 Under construction
Stephen B Jacobs Group 10 1,247 160 West 62nd Street 339 Complete
SHoP Architects 4 1,143 626 1st Avenue 799 Under construction
Arquitectonica 1 1,028 606 West 57th Street 1,028 Planned
Robert A. M. Stern 5 1,021 500 West 30th Street 778 Complete
Adamson Associates Architects 2 992 250 South Street 787 Planned
Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates 4 847 400 West 61st Street 595 Planned
Aufgang Architects 10 782 233 West 125th Street 191 Planned
GF55 Partners 6 764 1951 Park Avenue 313 Complete
Karl Fischer Architect 12 652 4452 Broadway 98 Planned
ODA Architecture 9 599 1800 Park Avenue 100 Planned
CetraRuddy 2 589 242 West 53rd Street 426 Complete
Richard Meier & Partners Architect 1 550 685 1st Avenue 550 Planned
Beyer Blinder Belle 6 517 145 Clinton Street 211 Planned
Avinash K. Malhotra Architects 3 488 507 West 28th Street 321 Under construction
S9 Architecture & Engineering 4 467 23 West 116th Street 192 Complete
Jim Davidson, a design partner at the company, said that about 30 percent of the work SLCE does is through a joint venture where the company works behind the scenes to bring another architect’s vision to reality.
“Where you have a unique property a developer may select an internationally known designer to add a certain cache from the point of view of sales, or to help a traditional neighborhood get the cache it deserves,” Davidson said on a phone call from London, where the company is opening its first international office. “It’s a niche we’re happy to fill.”
Some of SLCE’s large projects include 401 West 31st Street, the 790-unit residential tower at Brookfield Property Group’s Manhattan West, and the Gotham Organization’s 698-unit 550 West 45th Street.
The company also worked behind the scenes on TF Cornerstone’s 1,028-unit 606 West 57th Street, which is slated to be Manhattan’s second-largest residential building when it’s complete in 2017.
The Miami-based Arquitectonica is responsible for the building’s aesthetics, which will bring another example of high design to the Far West Side right across the street from Bjarke Ingels’s pyramid building.
The firm’s collaboration is one of two new buildings with more than 1,000 units.
Behind the story:
The other, Moinain’s Sky rental tower at 605 West 42nd Street, was designed by Goldstein, Hill & West, which ranks second on TRD’s ranking of the busiest design shops in Manhattan’s resi market. SLCE is also listed as the architect of record for 400 West 61st Street at Extell Development’s Riverside Center, where designs by Arquitectonica and Kohn Pedersen Fox have been batted around.