Behind the hustle and bustle, the promise and the possibility of Manhattan, the city’s architecture provides a steadfast backdrop that experiences various changes from the minuscule to the meaningful, propelled by the collective pulse of the city’s people, places and events.

New York City, a metropolis where numerous iconic buildings and structures reside, is teeming with meritorious architecture and design agencies whose contemporary work acknowledges the high standards set by predecessors. In the current landscape of Manhattan, here are five of the top architects and design agencies, to name a very few.

Baxt Ingui Architects

Baxt Ingui Architects, stylized as BAXT│INGUI, has served clients in New York City since 1977. The architecture and interior design agency was ranked in Expertise’s 2017 list of NYC’s Top 20 firms in the industry, selected from among 1,705. Expertise’s selection criteria included reputation, credibility, experience, availability and professionalism. BAXT│INGUI has extensive experience in residential, institutional and commercial projects and is an active community partner for non-profit efforts.


Gensler, a world-renowned firm with more than 3,500 active clients across the globe, has offices in New York City and currently is working to renovate Citigroup’s headquarters on Greenwich Street in Tribeca, according to an article for the Commercial Observer. In 2014, Gensler was named the American Institute of Architects (AIA) New York State Firm of the Year because of the high quality of its projects, its accomplishments “in setting new standards for corporate social responsibility and civic engagement, and its service in creating and animating the Center for Architecture,” according to a press release. A majority of Gensler’s New York projects are interior jobs.

Steven Harris Architects LLP

Steven Harris Architects LLP is an award-winning firm based in Tribeca that has worked on both public and private commissions since 1985. The firm has received multiple AIA and Interior Design Best of Year Awards, and has been recognized in Architectural Digest’s AD 100, Elle Décor’s A-List, and the Interior Design Hall of Fame, according to Expertise.

Selldorf Architects

Selldorf Architects, headed by principal Annabelle Selldorf, is a 65-person architectural design practice that has served the NYC area since 1988. The firm does capacious work with educational and cultural institutions. Selldorf herself is a Fellow of the AIA and serves on the board of the Architectural League of New York, the Chinati Foundation and Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College. Selldorf was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2017. In 2016, she received the AIA New York Medal of Honor.

Robert A.M. Stern Architects

According to several sources, no list of top architecture and design firms would be complete without Robert A.M. Stern Architects, whose founder and senior partner Robert Stern directs the design for each of the firm’s projects, according to a blog post for BuildDirect. Stern is a published author and also was the dean of the Yale School of Architecture from 1998 to 2016. In 2017, Stern received the Topaz Medallion, awarded jointly by the AIA and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, for his outstanding service to architectural education

Of course, no list is exhaustive nor beyond dispute, especially when it comes to NYC’s bountiful and evolving architecture and design scene. Other notable firms serving the Manhattan area and worth checking out include Ted Moudis Associates, Studios Architecture, FXFOWLE, Stephen Wang + Associates, and Toshiko Mori Architect, among many others.


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