We present two novel topologies of subwavelength grating (SWG) waveguides: the bricked-SWG and the evanescently-coupled-SWG. The bricked topology enables accurate control of waveguide anisotropy while maintaining the index and dispersion engineering advantage intrinsic to SWG waveguides. The evanescently-coupled-SWG allows unprecedented control of the strength of the modal perturbation in waveguide Bragg gratings and nanophotonic antennas. Both topologies leverage a Manhattan-like pattern, with pixel sizes compatible with deep-uv lithography. Our recent results will be discussed, focusing on polarization-independent multimode interference couplers for the O and C bands and a millimeter-long narrow-beam steerable optical antenna array with angular divergence of only 1.8º×0.2º.