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Are these what the NYC apartments of the future will look like? Are these what the NYC apartments of the future will look like?
Updated 1/8/2020 with six additional design and sustainability trends.

As a new decade dawns, it is natural to wonder what trends and phenomena we will see in days to come. However, throughout New York, forward-thinking architects and up-and-coming designers alike have already put ideas into action and presented tempting previews of what the future may hold. It may be too soon to tell if trends seen in the following listings are limited to eye-catching one-offs or have more widespread potential, especially as issues such as climate change and sustainability rise to the forefront. Nevertheless, we gathered some of the most innovative apartments on the market right now.

Curved Glass/Bay Windows
565-Broome-Street-1 All images of 565 Broome Soho via Douglas Elliman
565-Broome-Street-2 Dining area and kitchen
565-Broome-Street-3 Private terrace with pool
At the beginning of the 21st century, many New York buildings embraced floor-to-ceiling windows as a way of flooding the apartments inside with natural light. However, more modern designs are taking this one step further by adding curved glass or bay windows to increase the light, a trend that can be seen in buildings designed by some of the biggest names in architecture: Rafael Vinoly at 125 Greenwich Street, Thomas Heatherwick at Lantern House, and Renzo Piano at 565 Broome Soho. Developers, too, embrace this because such apartments command higher prices.

In a building designed by a Pritzker Prize laureate, this duplex is reached by private elevator and enters into a corner Great Room with easy access to the sophisticated chef's kitchen and a private terrace with heated saltwater pool and outdoor kitchen. Upstairs, the west-facing master suite enjoys incredible sunset views through a curved window, an oversized walk-in closet, and a windowed five-fixture bath. See floor plan and full details here.

All-Electric Buildings
100 Flatbush Avenue Credit: Alloy Development
Between the pursuit of LEED and Passive House certification, there is no shortage of ways that New York builders can show their commitment to the environment. However, as work begins on its massive new development that will include new schools, new retail, and hundreds of new apartments, Alloy Development is set to go one step further and, in the words of co-founder and CEO Jared Della Valle, "make this the most sustainable block in Downtown Brooklyn." One way he proposes to do that is by using electric energy for functions that would normally use natural gas. This is a first for New York buildings.

Retractable Walls and Moving Screens
224-East-14th-Street-1 All images of Brownstone East Village via Nest Seekers
224-East-14th-Street-2 Kitchen
224-East-14th-Street-3 Bedroom
With a flip of a switch, this terrific triplex is transformed when fully retractable walls open up to overlook 14th Street in the living room and to access a backyard garden with a grill and dining area from the open, state-of-the-art chef's kitchen. On the second floor, the master suite boasts floor-to-ceiling soundproof windows and bath with rain shower. Additional features include exposed brick walls, soaring 12' ceilings, and vented in-unit washer/dryer. It is little wonder this apartment has been featured in New York magazine, Elle Decor, and on Million Dollar Listing. See floor plan and full details here.

Creative Construction
2-Monitor-Street-1 All images of 2 Monitor Street via Compass
2-Monitor-Street-2 Living room
2-Monitor-Street-3 Den
On the border of Williamsburg and Greenpoint, 21 shipping containers were used to build an enormous townhouse with three private terraces. Interiors pay homage to the area's history with industrial-chic decor, and floor-to-ceiling windows bathe the home in northern and southern light. The first level is dedicated to entertaining with an enormous living room with a wood-burning fireplace, open chef's kitchen, and media room with stadium seating, suspended 90" television, and surround sound. Up the floating steel staircase, the top-floor master suite comes with a walk-in closet, twin powder rooms, spa-like bath, and a private terrace. Additional features include generous storage space, a temperature-controlled wine room, and off-street parking. See floor plan and full details here.

Biophilic Design
550-Vanderbilt-Avenue-1 All images of 550 Vanderbilt via COOKFOX Architects
550-Vanderbilt-Avenue-2 Living room and terrace
550-Vanderbilt-Avenue-3 Master suite with terrace access
As new development seems to be crammed into every available square inch of New York space, developers are mindful of maintaining and restoring the connection to nature that contributes to human health and productivity. That is where biophilic design comes in, and 550 Vanderbilt seeks to bring that to new development Pacific Park. Not only is the building surrounded by a 350,000-square-foot park, but its expansive windows are surrounded by flowering planters. This penthouse with panoramic views also enjoys natural materials and an expansive private terrace that surrounds the apartment. However, none of this comes at the expense of the high-end appliances, sophisticated fixtures, and state-of-the-art infrastructure the modern buyer has come to expect. See floor plan and full details here.

Modular Construction
193-Henry-Street-1 Idylls via Douglas Elliman
In a city where construction seems to be a never-ending process, it's natural to wonder how long it's going to take for a building to rise. Thanks to prefabrication techniques, the answer can be much faster than some would think - on the Lower East Side, a seven-story condominium at Idylls used modular construction to be fully stacked in less than a week. While there are still some kinks to iron out, more developers and designers are embracing modular construction as a way to work faster and offset increasing labor prices. Additional modular buildings include Carmel Place (see below) and 201 East Broadway (developed in conjunction with Idylls), and Danny Forster & Architecture is considering the possibility for a new hotel at 88 Schermerhorn Street in Brooklyn.

Sinuous lines and Avant-garde design
520-West-28th-Street-1 All images of 520 West 28th Street via The Corcoran Group
520-West-28th-Street-2 Kitchen
520-West-28th-Street-3 Bedroom
Dame Zaha Hadid's masterpiece on the High Line is distinguished both inside and out by its sculptural form and distinctive chevron facade that allows for curved lines and unique windows in every unit. This particular apartment boasts soaring ceilings, custom wall paneling, an expansive Great Room, and 14 windows throughout that flood the space with light. The open kitchen features cabinetry by Boffi, a full suite of Gaggenau appliances, and and a sculptural island. Two super-luxe bedroom suites and extensive closet space complete this design-lover's dream home. See floor plan and full details here.

Sky Garages
200-Eleventh-Avenue-1 All images of 200 Eleventh Avenue via Douglas Elliman
200-Eleventh-Avenue-2 Great Room and kitchen
200-Eleventh-Avenue-3 Bedroom
For those who have made the switch from a suburban mansion to a Manhattan apartment, one of the biggest adjustments may be having less than direct access to their car. Tighter curbside restrictions make things more difficult, and even having to go to the building's garage can add too much extra time to one's day. Acclaimed architect Annabelle Selldorf clearly realized this with the design of 200 Eleventh Avenue: Fourteen out of sixteen units boast en-suite "sky garages" where residents can literally drive up to their apartments by taking a car elevator home.

This dramatically designed duplex is one of them, and a foyer leads to a living room with 23' ceilings, custom-built bookcases, southern walls designed for an art collection, and oversized French doors that let the outside in. The adjoining dining area is next to a custom kitchen concealed by folding teak doors. Up the open staircase, the master suite boasts sweeping river views and bath with solid granite soaking tub. See full details here.

Cross-Laminated Timber
80-Ainslie-Street-1 Rendering of 80 Ainslie Street via Syndicate Architecture
As parts of Brooklyn show, cross-laminated timber (CLT) construction is making something of a comeback in New York thanks to concerns about the environment. Wood is a renewable resource that can be produced in sustainably managed forests, and weather-tight construction makes for a smaller carbon footprint and energy bill alike. Inside, the timber provides exposed wood and beams with no effort from the designer. While building codes keep us from seeing a CLT skyscraper, we can enjoy prime examples at 320 and 360 Wythe Avenue, 80 Ainslie Street, and 283 Greene Avenue.

Indoors Meet Outdoors
108-India-Street-1 All images of 108 India Street via The Corcoran Group
108-India-Street-2 Bedroom
108-India-Street-3 Recreation room
Every home in this three-unit boutique condominium was designed with the intent of maximizing the connection to nature, and nowhere is that more evident than the garden apartment. In the open living/dining area, a wall of sliding glass doors opens up to a landscaped private garden with a custom-designed, built-in grill. Inside, the living space is flooded with light and flows seamlessly into a thoughtfully designed chef's kitchen with quartz countertops, a large dining island, and professional-grade appliances. Downstairs, a recreation room offers endless uses and a garden walkout. See floor plan and full details here.

Vegetated Facades and Roofs
41-Bond-Street-1 41 Bond Street (CityRealty)
41-Bond-Street-2 Living/dining area
41-Bond-Street-3 Terrace
Passive House construction may be the new gold standard when it comes to sustainable development, but its certification process is notoriously vigorous. However, just because a building can't meet it doesn't mean it can't be environmentally friendly. Developer/designer DDG recognizes this and has incorporated vegetated facades into projects like 41 Bond Street, XOCO 325, and 345 Meatpacking: These buildings feature very different designs and addresses, but all of them trap heat, improve air quality, and add a touch of greenery thanks to their planted facades. This duplex penthouse takes that one step further with two private balconies, both with plenty of room for plants, and a landscaped roof deck. Interiors feature floor-to-ceiling windows, wet bar, peaceful master suite, and solarium with gas fireplace. See floor plan and full details here.

Modern Loft Living
52-East-4th-Street-1 All images of 52E4 via Halstead
52-East-4th-Street-2 Kitchen
52-East-4th-Street-3 Sleeping area
This East Village boutique condo building is the winner of the 2008 Society of American Registered Architects Design Award, and its only studio looks eligible for awards as well with its exposed structural elements that pay tribute to the lofts of Lower Manhattan. The large living/dining room opens up to a private terrace, and the kitchen boasts bold design elements and a breakfast bar. A bespoke ladder leads to the queen-sized sleeping loft. Between the custom California closet and custom shelving throughout, there is no shortage of storage space. See floor plan and full details here.

Highlighting Unique Structural Systems
53-West-53rd-Street-1 All images of 53W53 via The Corcoran Group
53-West-53rd-Street-2 Kitchen
53-West-53rd-Street-3 Master bath
Located in a soaring condo tower designed by Pritzker Prize laureate Jean Nouvel, this residence's innovative structural system is expressed as a work of sculptural art that thinks quite far outside the white box. This massive apartment is reached via direct elevator entry, and a gracious entrance hall leads to a large living room with views of Central Park, the Hudson River, and the Lower Manhattan skyline. The compact, park-facing kitchen comes outfitted with custom Molteni cabinetry, statuary marble countertops, backlit backsplash, and full suite of high-end appliances. In the corner master suite, a richly detailed bath with heated Verona limestone slab floors and baseboard and marble walls makes a stunning showpiece. See floor plan and full details here.

Micro-Apartments
335-East-27th-Street-1 All images of Carmel Place via FirstService Realty
335-East-27th-Street-2 Kitchen
335-East-27th-Street-3 Bath
These modular homes are described as "micro-apartments," but make the most of every square inch of space with fold-down furniture, full-depth closets, and creative custom storage solutions. High ceilings and 8' windows make all apartments seem larger and airier, and this sweet studio is enhanced with sliding windows that lead to a Juliet balcony. Residential amenities include a fitness center, entertainment lounge, courtyard, and roof terrace with grills. Moreover, an all-inclusive package of Wi-Fi, cable, weekly housekeeping service, and Hello Alfred butler service is included in the rent. See floor plan and full details here.

Passive House Construction
Flow Chelsea-03 Flow Chelsea model living room (CORE Real Estate)
211-West-29th-Street-03 Kitchen
Chelsea apartments
In a city where buildings are responsible for two-thirds of total greenhouse gas emissions, developers and designers must consider their projects' environmental impact as well as the financial and aesthetic effects. Passive House pros Zakrzewski & Hyde Architects admirably rose to the challenge with Flow Chelsea, a 24-story mixed-use building with large framed windows punctuating its stone facade. Its combination of style and sustainability helped it garner a NYSERDA Buildings of Excellence award.

Flow Chelsea's Passive House construction includes continuous filtered air throughout the building. An airtight building envelope keeps the temperature well-regulated to an extent that allows residents to save on energy costs. Triple-glazed windows also reduce the building's ecological footprint, not to mention the noise of this, particularly busy neighborhood. See floor plan and full details here.

Solar Panels/Cogeneration
Solar-Panels-01 Rooftop solar panels via M-Core
123-West-93rd-Street-1 Interiors via Halstead
123-West-93rd-Street-3 Kitchen
Rising and reconstructed buildings are quick to make use of environmentally friendly materials and methods, and older buildings are also starting to embrace opportunities to go both green and into the future. As cooperatives all over the city are starting to find, the installation of solar panels will improve their energy efficiency and pass significantly lower utility costs on to residents. This peaceful prewar home enjoys hardwood floors throughout and excellent natural light from windows in every room. The building also has a bike room and excellent access to public transportation, but its excellent Upper West Side location near Central Park, popular restaurants, top schools, and shopping makes it easy to use the most environmentally friendly transportation of all: one's own feet. See floor plan and full details here.

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Luxury Homes in Midtown | Newly Renovated Studio-2BR Homes View Property
Spacious 1 Bedrooms with outdoor space and in-residence w/d View Property
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