New York - Everybody knows what the Empire State Building looks like. That's why Rick Bell, who heads the Center for Architecture, did not put the famous skyscraper on his list of 10 great buildings to see in New York.
But the centre, which is the New York chapter of the American Institute for Architects, does list the Conde Nast Building in Times Square, considered the first green skyscraper; the Apple store in SoHo, noted for its glass bridge and staircase; and the Seagram Building, the only design in New York by famed architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
If you're an architecture buff, here are some details on why these and seven other buildings should be on your must-see list.
Apple Store Soho
103 Prince St, Manhattan, by Ronnette Riley and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, 2002, with Apple's creative team, including chief executive Steve Jobs
The exterior is a 1920s stone-and-brick post office, with the original "STATION A" signage above the entrance. The inside (left) is distinguished by clean, white space and an inviting glass staircase to a glass bridge upstairs.
Conde Nast Building
4 Times Square, Manhattan, by Fox & Fowle Architects, 1996-1999
This 264m-tall skyscraper (left) in the heart of Times Square is what Bell calls "environmentally correct", with state-of-the-art air quality and energy-conservation systems.
Entry pavilion and plaza, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, By James Stewart Polshek, 2004
The glass and steel circular structure modernised the museum's (left) imposing 19th-century Beaux Arts facade while making it inviting and accessible.
Grand Central Terminal
42nd Street and Park Avenue, Manhattan, by Reed & Stern and Warren & Wetmore, 1903-1913, restored by Beyer, Blinder & Belle, 1998
The famed train station's (left) Beaux Arts Classical design is known for its arches, clock, constellation ceiling and cathedral windows. The building's beauty was restored in a project completed in 1998, and the corridors were enlivened with exhibition space and interesting places to eat and shop.
Prada New York
575 Broadway, near Prince Street, Manhattan, by Rem Koolhaas, 2001
A wave of zebrawood is the centrepiece of Prada's flagship store (left) in SoHo. "It displays the merchandise, it doesn't sell it," said Bell.
Morgan Library Expansion
33 E. 36th St, at Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, Renzo Piano, 2006
Piano's expansion (left) of the Morgan Library, a 1906 Beaux Arts building designed by McKim, Mead & White, is considered one of his masterpieces, with glass walls linking the old and new.
Rose Center for Earth and Space
At the American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, Manhattan, by James Stewart Polshek, 2000
This illuminated 27m-diameter sphere, which appears to be floating in a huge glass cube, houses the Hayden Planetarium and Space Theater.
951-969 Eighth Avenue, near 56th Street, Manhattan, by Sir Norman Foster, 2004
This 42-storey tower (left) was built atop the original six-storey home of the Hearst media empire. The diagonal gridwork and see-through glass panels, with no vertical supporting columns, make this sleek design unique in the world. - AP
This article was first published in The Straits Times on March 18, 2008.