The Real Deal New York

Here are the five most active architecture firms in Manhattan

By Kathryn Brenzel | March 29, 2018 03:16PM

From the March issue: This month, The Real Deal pored over permit applications filed with the city’s Department of Buildings and ranked the most prolific architecture shops in the city to determine which of them have designed the most square footage of new buildings in the five boroughs between Jan. 1, 2012, and Jan. 31, 2018.

Taking the top spot was the Manhattan-based firm SLCE Architects with 20.69 million square feet across 87 New York City projects. It was followed by Hill West Architects with 13.09 million square feet across 43 projects and Dattner Architects with 9.54 million square feet across 65 projects. Rounding out the top five were Perkins Eastman and Adamson Associates Architects with 8.80 million square feet and 8.69 million square feet, respectively.

Since Manhattan delivers many of the highest profile architecture assignments, here’s a closer look at the most active firms in the borough: 

Click here to read the full story: Who’s designing NYC’s skyline?

All this doesn’t mean the outer boroughs don’t have their fair share of business. While most of SLCE Architects’ work — 10.90 million square feet — was in Manhattan, the firm was also the most active in Queens during the six-year period with 5.22 million square feet in that borough.

And the firm also ranked No. 3 in Brooklyn with 3.62 million square feet, following Dattner Architects and Perkins Eastman, which had 3.64 million square feet and 4.70 million square feet, respectively. Dattner, meanwhile, was also the most active firm in the Bronx with 3.09 million square feet.

Architects have seen increased activity in the outer boroughs over the past few years, said David West, whose firm racked up 3.85 million square feet of work in Queens, which landed it at the No. 2 spot for that borough. Its commissions in the borough included Tishman Speyer’s three-building residential project at 28-10 Jackson Avenue in Long Island City.

And snagging assignments for condo developments in the outer boroughs is becoming increasingly competitive, especially because those projects often don’t have the same size constraints as those in Manhattan, said Nancy Ruddy, co-founder and principal of CetraRuddy Architecture, whose firm ranked No. 15 citywide with 3.64 million square feet across 14 projects, including Delshah Capital and OTL Enterprise’s 22 Chapel Street in Brooklyn and Nathan Berman’s 20 Broad Street in Manhattan.

“Part of the challenge is, how do you get that sense of luxury and sophistication in a smaller footprint?” asked Ruddy, referring to Manhattan.

“Your personal space has gotten smaller, but the amenity spaces in the building are continuing to get larger,” she added.