Building Bridges in the Sky: How SUMMIT Brings Cultures Together for a Uniquely Shared Experience

For generations, the culture of NYC has been studied and celebrated by people around the world. Towering above Manhattan, SUMMIT One Vanderbilt, a cultural attraction in New York, continues this tradition by creating a space where the city, its residents, and its visitors all come together in a reflective, awe-inducing tableau.

From the moment you step out of Rise, the sensory-resetting elevator that jets you up to the 93rd floor, you’re likely to hear languages from around the world. To date, international visitors to NYC from 142 United Nations-recognized countries have visited SUMMIT. Each guest has contributed to SUMMIT’s celebration of the differences that make us all the same.

This hasn’t happened by accident, either. When SUMMIT was in the design phase, one of its overarching themes was to become a location that embraced cultural diversity in NYC. Inclusivity was prioritized in every segment of the SUMMIT cultural experience in NYC.

SUMMIT’s Drawing Board: The Beginnings of a One-of-a-Kind Cultural Experience in NYC

The creators of SUMMIT wanted to construct more than an NYC observation deck. They wanted to found an environment where guests could access unparalleled views of the city, appreciate art from some of the most revered creators in the world, and feel a sense of community with their fellow visitors. They wanted the lifelong New Yorker and the international tourist to feel the same sense of togetherness when they explore the mirrored installations of Transcendence I and II or sip a warm beverage at Après, the café on the 93rd floor.

Thanks to the thoughtfulness that went into the plans for SUMMIT, the space encourages a sense of mutual respect among guests. Unlike a museum, where artifacts, history, and practices are on display, SUMMIT allows you to become part of the cultural makeup of the space. As guests flow through the installation, they contribute to an ever-evolving global community.

The connectedness SUMMIT promotes can reduce feelings of isolation and enhance the well-being of the mind, body, and spirit. It’s difficult to feel isolated when you’re consistently encountering not only your own face, but also the faces of your fellow visitors in reflections across 80 miles’ worth of vistas, architectural wonders, and green spaces.

How the Architecture of One Vanderbilt Complements the Culture of SUMMIT

Of course, SUMMIT stands out as much for its stunning NYC skyline views as for its transformative interior, which melds art, architecture, and technology into an immersive experience. Visitors who step out of Rise transition into the Hall of Light and the mirrored world of Transcendence I on the 91st floor, which offers a surreal perspective of the city and its many landmarks.

Still, the design of SUMMIT extends beyond the noticeable, creating a seamless experience through often overlooked spaces like bathrooms, staircases, and hallways. With meticulously curated details contributing to a harmonious balance of functionality and aesthetics, these areas are accentuated with art and unique perspectives that transform them into destinations themselves.

SUMMIT exemplifies how mundane spaces can become canvases for storytelling, culture, and identity expression, impacting mood, creativity, and even productivity. The SUMMIT experience, a testament to the intricate understanding of spatial psychology, utilizes art, colors, and sound to influence visitor interactions, making spaces feel larger, more inviting, and exhilarating.

The fusion of art, architecture, and technology at SUMMIT provides a dynamic and ever-changing experience, promising new sensations with each visit. This dedication to innovation and creativity ensures a lasting allure, drawing visitors back to explore its nuances and the evolving journey of awe and inspiration it offers.

All of this makes SUMMIT an unmissable cultural attraction in New York for anyone fascinated by the interplay of space, design, and sensory engagement — things that are greatly enhanced when you have a conceptual appreciation for art itself.

How Art Further Enhances SUMMIT and New York City Experiences

Paintings, music, sculptures, photography, and all other forms of art possess a universal language that transcends cultural and linguistic barriers, allowing people from different backgrounds to connect deeply with its themes. This universality is what gives art its power to “speak” and foster cross-cultural connections.

Art plays a critical role in promoting cultural appreciation. For example, by displaying art from various cultures, iconic NYC museums like the Met offer visitors glimpses into diverse cultures and artistic traditions. These institutions facilitate a nonverbal cultural exchange, enhancing appreciation and understanding of different worldviews. This experience helps break down social barriers, which can enrich visitors’ perspectives without the need for words.

Art’s ability to convey universal themes and messages allows it to resonate with people across time and space, connecting them on a personal level. Just as SUMMIT offers panoramic views of NYC, art provides a unique window into the human experience, capturing moments and emotions that are relatable to everyone. Artistic creations like the multisensory experiences at SUMMIT exemplify the enduring spirit of human creativity and the universal need for reflection and wonder.

They can also act as bridges between cultures and epochs. Installations like Yayoi Kusama’s “Clouds” create immersive experiences that connect visitors to the time and place of their origin. With its mirrors and reflective surfaces, SUMMIT further enhances this immersive experience by making each interaction unique and creating a sense of infinity.

Essentially, SUMMIT stands as a modern example of art’s power to delight and fascinate people from around the globe.

SUMMIT as a Springboard for Continuing Cultural Transformation

SUMMIT is a cultural delight for all the senses. From a visual perspective, nothing compares to seeing Central Park, the Hudson, and other iconic landmarks from more than 1,100 feet above the gridded streets. This is especially true when they’re visible in one of SUMMIT’s countless reflective surfaces.

Still, SUMMIT is as much for the ears as it is for the eyes. Dozens of languages are spoken within a space that includes carefully curated music and sounds. Plus, all visitors move at their own pace, contributing to an unlimited range of spatial setups throughout the day and night.

Every step within SUMMIT is an invitation to a deeper understanding of the world around us. The immersive technologies, curated soundscapes, and meticulously designed spaces entice visitors to embark on a journey of discovery. It’s not just about observing the city — it’s about immersing yourself in it from a completely different perspective.

The beauty of SUMMIT lies in its ability to evoke cultural epiphanies. These moments of clarity and realization are accentuated by the space’s commitment to celebrating global diversity. With a core philosophy that revolves around shared experiences, SUMMIT is designed to be a stage where every visitor, regardless of their background or history, can partake in a universal journey. The constantly changing tableau of visitors, each bringing their unique stories and perspectives, adds depth to this shared cultural experience in NYC. The melodic soundscapes, the breathtaking visual elements, and the very architecture of the space are all crafted to inspire introspection and connection.

But more than just a passive experience, SUMMIT challenges its visitors. It prompts them to question and reflect on their realities. Whether it’s the mesmerizing views of the city or the intricate play of light and shadow within the “observatory,” there’s always an element of surprise and wonder.

In this way, SUMMIT is less like an observatory and more like a portal to a larger world where boundaries blur and fade. By offering this unique blend of introspection and connection, SUMMIT positions itself as a transformative experience that promises to change the way visitors see not only New York City, but also themselves.

SUMMIT gives you the chance to go on an unforgettable cultural journey and see NYC and its marvels in a transitional, innovative space. Everyone is welcome and reflected in SUMMIT, both literally and figuratively.

NYC is one of the most culturally well-respected, well-known cities in the world, and SUMMIT has elevated its cultural reputation one step higher. With its inclusive environment, anyone who ascends through Rise and beyond knows immediately that they’re welcome and celebrated, not in spite of their differences — but because of them.

Visit SUMMIT today to embark on a transformative cultural experience in NYC.