NYC: An Urban Rooftop Renaissance


Innovation in housing and resource development has become a primary focus for cities as populations increase.

One way that New York city has started to deal with population surges is by utilising its rooftop airspace; building new residential units, gardens and maintenance buildings on top of the city’s existing architecture.

In her first series for #FutureofCities, our US Ambassador and resident New Yorker Vivienne Gucwa explores these new additions to the rooftops of her city.

Despite their endearingly quaint ‘miniature city’ appearance; these evolving urban structures represent an ad-hoc solution to the needs of New York’s growing urban population.

  • #FutureofCities: NYC, An Urban Rooftop Renaissance

    Vivienne Gucwa

    #FutureofCities: NYC, An Urban Rooftop Renaissance

    Sony α7S (F Stop: 8, Shutter: 1/160 seconds, ISO: 200)

    Looking at a rooftop addition from across Houston Street.

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  • #FutureofCities: NYC, An Urban Rooftop Renaissance

    Vivienne Gucwa

    #FutureofCities: NYC, An Urban Rooftop Renaissance

    Sony α7S (F Stop: 9, Shutter: 1/160 seconds, ISO: 200)

    Looking at an interesting rooftop housing extension towards 13th Street on 3rd Avenue.

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  • #FutureofCities: NYC, An Urban Rooftop Renaissance

    Vivienne Gucwa

    #FutureofCities: NYC, An Urban Rooftop Renaissance

    Sony α7S (F Stop: 9, Shutter: 1/160 seconds, ISO: 200)

    Closer inspection of a rooftop on 13th Street and 3rd Avenue reveals rooftop housing with a chimney.

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  • #FutureofCities: NYC, An Urban Rooftop Renaissance

    Vivienne Gucwa

    #FutureofCities: NYC, An Urban Rooftop Renaissance

    Sony α7S (F Stop: 7.1, Shutter: 1/80 seconds, ISO: 200)

    Looking out over the tops of rooftops in midtown Manhattan reveals another world of rooftop extensions and spaces for people to enjoy summer evenings.

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  • #FutureofCities: NYC, An Urban Rooftop Renaissance

    Vivienne Gucwa

    #FutureofCities: NYC, An Urban Rooftop Renaissance

    Sony α7S (F Stop: 9, Shutter: 1/80 seconds, ISO: 200)

    Adjacent to the soaring skyscrapers in midtown Manhattan rooftop extensions become a part of the skyline.

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  • #FutureofCities: NYC, An Urban Rooftop Renaissance

    Vivienne Gucwa

    #FutureofCities: NYC, An Urban Rooftop Renaissance

    Sony α7S (F Stop: 9, Shutter: 1/160 seconds, ISO: 200)

    Rooftop housing extensions protrude from the tops of buildings in midtown Manhattan.

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  • #FutureofCities: NYC, An Urban Rooftop Renaissance

    Vivienne Gucwa

    #FutureofCities: NYC, An Urban Rooftop Renaissance

    Sony α7S (F Stop: 9, Shutter: 1/160 seconds, ISO: 200)

    A selection of rooftop structures on a skyscraper in midtown Manhattan

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  • #FutureofCities: NYC, An Urban Rooftop Renaissance

    Vivienne Gucwa

    #FutureofCities: NYC, An Urban Rooftop Renaissance

    Sony α7S (F Stop: 9, Shutter: 1/160 seconds, ISO: 200)

    Even the maintenance structures on the tops of buildings in midtown Manhattan are taking on a distinctly residential appearance. Here, a set of rooftop extensions mimics the look of a tiny village.

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Vivienne Gucwa

Vivienne Gucwa, Artisan Of Imagery

"Photographers are moment collectors and dream catchers. Every image is the result of a tiny flicker that catches the photographer’s eye in such a profound way that it becomes impossible to ignore.”

Vivienne Gucwa started out completely broke and taking photos with a point & shoot camera 6 years ago.

She is now a full-time fine art travel photographer, making a living working on commissions that take her all over the world. When not travelling, Vivienne holds a passion for taking photos of the city she grew up in and loves dearly, New York City.

As one of nine Sony Artisans of Imagery, she enjoys connecting on a regular basis with her online audience of 2.5 million via her photography blog nythroughthelens.com

Her work has been published in a variety of publications online, in print, in ad campaigns, on album and book covers and on television.

Her best-selling New York photography book titled NY Through the Lens was released in stores worldwide and online in the autumn of 2014. The book is a visual nostalgic journey through the city that never sleeps.

In February 2015, Vivienne published her first series for Imaging Ambassador’s #FutureofCities project titled NYC: An Urban Rooftop Renaissance.

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