Meet the architects bringing NYC’s biggest 2018 projects to life

SLCE Architects topped the list

Saky Yakas & 555 West 38th Street, Ariel Aufgang & 3875 Ninth Avenue, and Jonathan Marvel & Far Rockaway Village (Credit: Getty Images, Google Maps and Twitter)
Saky Yakas & 555 West 38th Street, Ariel Aufgang & 3875 Ninth Avenue, and Jonathan Marvel & Far Rockaway Village (Credit: Getty Images, Google Maps and Twitter)

New York’s most prolific architect of the past five years kept up the pace in 2018.

SLCE Architects is working on the most new construction — in terms of square footage — in the city. The firm previously topped The Real Deal‘s annual ranking of architecture firms, which identified companies that designed the most square footage of new buildings in the five boroughs between Jan. 1, 2012, and Jan. 31, 2018.

In a new analysis, TRD has compiled a list of the top architecture firms of 2018, based on the square footage of their ground-up projects initiated this year. For the purposes of this ranking, TRD went by the architect of record listed on new building permit applications pre-filed this year. In some cases, the design architect will be different than the firms listed on documents filed with the city Department of Buildings.

Here are the top 10:

1) SLCE Architects
Number of projects: 9
Square feet: 1.8 million
In September, Rockrose Development filed plans for 555 West 38th Street, a 52-story residential tower planned for Hudson Yards. At over 400,000 square feet, the project is SLCE’s largest new project of the year, according to DOB filings. The Midtown-based firm ranked as the city’s most prolific architect over the past five years, having worked on nearly 20.7 million square feet of new buildings, a March analysis by TRD showed. The company often works as an executive architect on luxury residential buildings — alongside well-known design architects like Bjarke Ingels, Norman Foster and Robert A.M. Stern — but most of its work is full-service, meaning it takes on both roles: executive (architect of record) and design architect.

2) Aufgang Architects
Number of projects: 8
Square feet: 1.6 million
The largest of Aufgang’s new projects this year was 3875 Ninth Avenue, a 30-story, 614-unit mixed-use project to Inwood. Maddd Equities and Joy Construction are developing the building, which is expected to span nearly 600,000 square feet — most of which will be dedicated to residential use. The Suffern-based firm was also tapped to design Arker Companies’ 894 Fountain Avenue in East New York. The mixed-use project will rise nine stories and 95 feet tall, contain 422 residential units and span just over 411,320 square feet. In last year’s ranking of architecture firms working on the most projects by square feet, Aufgang ranked fifth with 1.5 million square feet of new work.

3) Marvel Architects
Number of projects: 5
Square feet: 1.4 million
Marvel, which didn’t make last year’s ranking, is designing three buildings in Far Rockaway for Phipps Houses as part of the developer’s massive Far Rockaway Village, an affordable housing project that will eventually feature more than 1,700 units. The three buildings for which permits were filed this year will together span more than 850,000 square feet and will have nearly 700 apartments. Marvel was founded in 2013 and has an office in San Juan, Puerto Rico in addition to its headquarters in Tribeca.

4) Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Number of projects: 4
Square feet: 1.36 million
SOM, the firm behind One World Trade Center and Manhattan West, is designing a residential tower for RedSky Capital and JZ Capital Partners in Greenpoint. The project at 14 India Street, the firm’s largest this year, is expected to span more than 620,000 square feet and have 470 units, some of which will be affordable, Curbed reported.

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5) GF55 Partners
Number of projects: 7
Square feet: 1.224 million
In February, Phoenix Realty Group and Artimus Construction filed a permit application for a 419,000-square-foot mixed-use project at 147-07 94th Avenue, in Jamaica, Queens. The project is GF55’s largest of the year and is expected to feature 522 residential units and more than 5,000 square feet of commercial space. The firm, based in the Flatiron District, was founded in 1984 and has a satellite office in Miami.

6) FXCollaborative Architects
Number of projects: 5
Square feet: 1.1 million
In January, ahead of the firm’s move to a new office in Downtown Brooklyn, FXFowle Architects rebranded as FXCollaborative Architects. At the time, Dan Kaplan, the senior partner at the firm, told Commercial Observer that the change was aimed at capturing the “deeply collaborative” nature of architecture. The firm was previously named for its founding partners. FXCollaborative didn’t make TRD‘s top 10 last year, but ranked sixth in 2018, in part, due to a 931-unit tower the company is designing for Douglaston Development. The firm was tapped to work on a residential building in Hudson Yards at 601 West 29th Street, the company’s largest new project of the year.

7) Dattner Architects
Number of projects: 5
Square feet:1 million
Last year, Midtown-based Dattner ranked fourth with 1.7 million square feet. This year the firm’s largest new project was a 14-story residential building in Cypress Hills in Brooklyn, which is being developed by the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development. The building, at 104 Dinsmore Place, is expected to have 275 units and span more than 270,000 square feet. Dattner’s work is largely focused on schools, affordable housing, parks and infrastructure.

8) Perkins Eastman
Number of projects: 2
Square feet: 916,488
In October, Greenland USA filed plans for 18 Sixth Avenue, a 810-unit rental tower in Pacific Park that is expected to span 779,000-square feet. The developer had previously indicated that more than 200 condominium units would also be included in the project but subsequently abandoned those plans. Not only is the tower Perkins Eastman’s largest, it’s also the biggest new individual building for which permit applications were filed this year. The architecture firm, which is based in Gramercy Park, also has more than a dozen offices globally.

9) Hill West
Number of projects: 6
Square feet: 810,989
Last year, Hill West didn’t make TRD‘s ranking. But in September, Fortis Property Group filed a permit application for 30 Front Street, a planned 250,000-square-foot residential tower in Brooklyn. Hill West, formerly Goldstein, Hill & West, was tapped to design the building, which is expected to have 76 units.

10) Handel Architects
Number of projects: 4
Square feet: 772,218
Manhattan-based Handel Architects’ largest new project this year was 2926 West 19th Street, a planned 420,000-plus square foot building in Coney Island. The project, which is being developed by L&M Development, is expected to include 446 residential units and retail space. The 16-story building is likely part of a larger development.

The top 10 most active NYC architects

RankArchitectSquare FeetNumber of Projects
1SLCE Architects1,800,0009
2Aufgang Architects1,600,0008
3Marvel Architects1,400,0007
4Skidmore, Owings & Merrill1,360,0004
5GF55 Partners1,224,0007
6FXCollaborative Architects1,100,0005
7Dattner Architects1,000,0005
8Perkins Eastman916,4882
9Hill West Architects810,9896
10Handel Architects772,2184