THE BLOG
08/01/2014 12:53 pm ET Updated Oct 01, 2014

Beyond the "Starchitect"

There is an overwhelming fear of the rapidly changing Manhattan skyline. Where that fear stems from is up for debate--is it a fear of the aesthetics of the new look or of the "starchitects" who design the buildings.

The New York Times opened a debate between various industry professionals on the role of "starchitects" on city skylines throughout the country. Opinions varied as the terms, "homogenizations of architecture" and "locatecture" were thrown around, but there seemed to be an agreement that building designs are a collaborative effort by a team and the result responsibility cannot be placed on a single architect. However, instead of looking at the impact of the architect's team on the skyline, I want to focus on the building's significance on their residents and the neighborhoods they are in.

When looking at the most renowned "starchitect's" new developments throughout Manhattan, like Harry Macklowe's 432 Park, it is overwhelmingly evident that they prioritize the potential resident's needs and preferences. Chackrabarti was right when he said so much more than just blending into a neighborhood and the skyline comes into considerations when developing a new structure. At that price point, buyers want something different--they want to have something that no one else in the world does--and that's the focus of Manhattan developers.

Taking a step back, into neighborhoods--Williamsburg and the Lower East Side--where new developments are starting to make rise, the new structures show a positive economic and cultural future for them. The new buildings attract new business, whether they be restaurants or grocery stores, a new clientele, and of course new residents to match the structures. "Innovation" and "future" are words desired to describe up and coming neighborhoods. The history will still be there, just so will new homes.