A penthouse, the building’s crown jewel, offers sky-high living, premium finishes and furnishings, incredible views, massive outdoor spaces, and, in most cases, a private elevator. These sitting-on-top-of-the-world homes have a certain wow factor and, because of their scarcity, can be a savvy investment. Today’s buyers range from new romantic couples (think empty nesters) to cashed-up millennials.

180 East 88th St.


Situated in the Upper East Side’s Carnegie Hill neighborhood, this intimate building is home to only 46 full- and half-floor residences. Inspired by the boom in high-rise masonry construction in New York in the early 20th century, the Joe McMillan's DDG-designed, intricate exterior features a striking façade of more than 600,000 handmade bricks (by Petersen Tegl, Denmark’s master brickworks). The triplex Penthouse at 180 E. 88th St. is at the highest elevation north of 72nd Street on the Upper East Side, offers thrilling panoramic views in all directions, and spans 5,500 square feet, with an additional 3,500 total square feet of exterior terrace space across all levels—including a rooftop terrace overlooking Central Park. The home features two living room spaces (one with a gas fireplace and wet bar), a large dining area, an eat-in kitchen, five bedrooms plus a den, four full and two half baths, and a gorgeous sculptural spiral staircase leading to the upper-floor bedrooms and third-level roof terrace. $33 million;

Sky Residences at One Bishopsgate Plaza


While it calls itself the “no-penthouse” tower, the one-, two-, and three-bedroom Sky Residences at One Bishopgate Plaza soar above the city with bird’s-eye views of some of London’s most iconic landmarks—The Shard, The Gherkin, Tower Bridge, and the Tower of London. Standing head and shoulders above its neighbors, One Bishopsgate Plaza is the tallest residential tower to be constructed in London in more than a decade and the first within the city with a five-star hotel (the first Pan Pacific in Europe). Some of the rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows jut out at an angle giving a vertiginous feeling of being suspended in the air. The kitchens are fitted with Miele appliances; the baths are Grecian marble. Tom Rundell, a partner in Knight Frank’s City office, says: “Bishopgate Plaza will appeal to buyers because its location is slap bang in the middle of the prime central City. I think it will become a community of high-net-worth individuals with other homes around the globe, probably people with a background in business or finance who are looking for an additional home with hotel facilities.” From $6.2 million for a three bedroom “not-a-penthouse” with a 700-square-foot terrace;

Aston Martin Residences


A sculptural and dramatic standout on an already outstanding skyline, Aston Martin Residences Miami is the British automotive brand’s first venture into luxury real estate. The 66-story, sail-shaped tower is the tallest residential building south of New York City. At the top: Signature Collection penthouses—there are only seven, the ultimate members-only community—all have private pools, large terraces, and their choice of the specially commissioned Aston Martin DB11 Coupe or the DBX Riverwalk Edition SUV (each model limited to just 47 vehicles). Modern and sophisticated, the DBX comes in jet black with 22-inch sport wheels and an Obsidian black interior with piano-black wood veneer. At the pinnacle of the property, the Triplex Penthouse encompasses three magnificent floors (levels 63–66) accessed via private elevator. The 27,000-square-foot space includes seven bedrooms, eight baths (plus six powder rooms), and a wraparound terrace on the main floor. There’s also a private pool, gym, spa, and spacious staff quarters. One of the big draws? A multimillion-dollar, limited-edition (only 24) Aston Martin Vulcan, a showpiece of automotive art with a formidable 820 hp, V-12 engine—for track driving only—that the owner will receive to fully complement their Aston Martin lifestyle. From $7.5 million to $59 million;