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Fifteen Renowned Designers and Architects to Perform Independent Peer Review of Borough-Based Jails Designs


(Long Island City, NY – March 4, 2020) The NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC), in conjunction with the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ) and the NYC Department of Correction (DOC), announced the formation of an independent peer review made up of nationally and internationally recognized architects and designers to help guide the City’s design process for the Borough-Based Jail Program. Made up of experienced, respected professionals from a diverse set of backgrounds, the peer review will provide technical evaluations of the design guidelines and the subsequent design proposals that will lead to the construction of the four facilities in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.

“Superior design is an essential element for creating the City’s more humane and more equitable justice system,” said DDC Commissioner Lorraine Grillo. “The peer review process is a best practice that helps to ensure that DDC is an owner of choice for firms that want to form the Design-Build teams that will create the new facilities, and helps us develop effective designs that can be built within the schedule the City requires.”

“These buildings will be important civic structures, reflecting the ambition of the City’s justice reforms, ensuring the dignity and well-being of those who are incarcerated, work and visit them, and integrating into the city centers where they are located,” Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice Director Elizabeth Glazer said. “The City is grateful to the skilled and knowledgeable people who have agreed to contribute their talents and time to a peer review that will ensure we produce buildings equal to the immense impact they have on the lives of individuals and befitting their prominent locations in New York’s boroughs.”

“The firms eventually selected to design and build our new facilities have a tremendous opportunity to impact the lives of DOC staff, individuals in custody, volunteers and visitors,” said Department of Correction Commissioner Cynthia Brann. “We want these new jails to reflect the very best in modern correctional practice, and New Yorkers expect and deserve nothing less.”

The peer review process complements an extensive and multi-step public review process for the Borough-Based Jails Program, including design workshops in each of the four boroughs with local neighborhood leaders, civic associations and community boards to identify preferred design elements including the use of community space, and workshops in each of the four boroughs with advocates and justice impacted individuals to provide input on the design of the new facilities.

The experts participating in peer review bring to the Borough-Based Jails program extensive knowledge of urban design and planning; architectural design in New York City, nationally and internationally; and building performance. They have extensive experience applying this knowledge to a range of public institutions, including criminal justice facilities that provide inspiration for achieving New York City’s vision of a smaller, safer and fairer detention system. Several are continuing their work advising on the Borough-Based Jails program after having served as co-chairs on the Justice Implementation Task Force’s Working Group on Design.

The City is currently engaged in the preliminary stage of a Design-Build process for the construction of the new facilities. DDC recently issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQs), to create a pool of pre-approved firms from which the final Design-Build partners will be selected.

Input from the peer review and others will inform design guidelines that are being developed for inclusion in the future Requests for Proposals (RFPs) that will be issued to firms who were pre-qualified after responding to the City’s current RFQs for design-builders. The review panels will then reconvene to provide an architectural review while the proposals are in the early stages of design, helping the City to ensure high-quality design submissions that balance aesthetics, functionality, cost, constructability and durability.

This effort fulfills the goals and is consistent with the DDC’s Project Excellence program, which builds on a strong tradition of innovation in architecture and engineering.  

Peer Review Panelists

Dominick DeAngelis, RA, AIA, Vice President of Architecture and Engineering, NYC School Construction Authority
Mr. DeAngelis is responsible for the design of $18 billion of construction over the next five years that will create 57,000 seats in 87 new schools or additions, and upgrade 1,840 additional NYC public schools.

Wendy Feuer, Assistant Commissioner for Urban Design + Art + Wayfinding, NYC Department of Transportation
Ms. Feuer’s DOT office makes streets attractive and welcoming for all users, and publishes a street design manual for City agencies, consultants and community groups. She has been a public art peer for the federal General Services Administration’s Design Excellence program for over 15 years.

Erik Fokkema, Architect, Partner, EGM Architecten
Mr. Fokkema has expansive experience in the Netherlands in institutional facilities, as well as private residential and public buildings. He is an expert in building operations, making the complex simple, and designing humane and user-friendly buildings.

Mark Gardner, AIA, NOMA, Principal, Jaklitsch/Gardner Architects
New York-based architect Mark Gardner’s experience scales from buildings to interiors to product design, and he works to understand the role of design as a social practice. He is an expert and strong advocate for diversity and inclusion in architecture and design.

Rosalie Genevro, Executive Director, The Architectural League of New York
An architectural historian and urbanist, Ms. Genevro has led initiatives at The Architectural League addressing housing, schools, libraries and topics such as climate change. She is a frequent contributor on the City’s building environment.

Samantha Josaphat, RA, Founding Principal, Studio 397 Architecture
Ms. Josaphat’s portfolio includes architecture and interior design of higher education projects, as well as large- and small-scale residential projects, to which she brings impressive knowledge of the City’s building regulations. She is President of the New York Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects.

Purnima Kapur, Urbanism Advisors, former Executive Director, NYC Department of City Planning
Ms. Kapur was a key architect of the City’s groundbreaking Mandatory Inclusionary Housing regulation, which has led to five Integrated Neighborhood plans, and has been integral to the redevelopment of Brooklyn over the past two decades via projects including the Greenpoint-Williamsburg Waterfront, Downtown Brooklyn and Coney Island.

Bruce Kuwabara, OC, OAA, FRAIC, AIA, RIBA, Partner, KPMB Architects
One of Canada’s leading architects, Mr. Kuwabara’s diverse portfolio encompasses cultural, civic, educational, healthcare and performing arts projects in North America and Europe.

Luis Medina-Carreto, Project Manager, Press Builders
Mr. Medina is an expert in New York City construction management and methods, with a reputation of bringing projects to completion on schedule and on budget in the City’s complicated building environment.

Gudrun Molden, Architect, Founding Partner, HLM Architects
Gudrun Molden comes to the City from Norway with extensive experience in detention facility architecture in an urban context, including Oslo city center and Åna prison in Norway.

Nancy Prince, RLA, ASLA, Chief of Landscape Architecture, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation
Ms. Prince establishes the design aesthetic and vision for the Parks Department’s large and varied portfolio of projects. Prior to entering public service, Ms. Prince spent years designing New York City’s parks and playgrounds.

Stanley Richards, Executive Vice President, The Fortune Society
With decades of experience in the criminal justice field, Stanley leads Fortune’s management, direct service programs, fundraising and advocacy work to promote alternatives to incarceration and support successful reentry from prison.

Annabelle Selldorf, AIA, Principal, Selldorf Architects
Ms. Selldorf founded her practice in New York City over 30 years ago. Her firm’s broad expertise has been applied in cultural, educational, industrial and residential projects throughout the United States.

Lisa Switkin, FAAR, ASLA, Senior Principal, James Corner Field Operations
Ms. Switkin has helped to reshape New York City’s public spaces for 20 years, including the design and delivery of the High Line, Brooklyn’s Domino Park and the public spaces at South Street Seaport’s Pier 17.

Andrew Winters, AIA, Head of Development Services, Sidewalk Labs
While serving as Director of the Office of Capital Project Development under Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Mr. Winters oversaw the development of public assets such as the High Line, East River Waterfront and Brooklyn Bridge Park. More recently he has overseen the planning, design and construction of the Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island.

Passed by the City Council in October 2019, the City’s plan to close the jails on Rikers Island and build smaller, safer, and fairer borough-based jail facilities comes at a time when New York City has the lowest crime and incarceration rates of any large city in the United States. This is part of a once-in-many-generations opportunity to build a smaller and more humane justice system that includes four facilities that reflect the City’s commitment to dignity and respect. The new facilities will offer better connections to and space for those detained and their families, attorneys, courts, medical and mental health care, education, therapeutic programming and service providers.

The NYC Department of City Planning staff as well as the City Planning Commission (CPC) will also review the design guidelines to be included in the RFPs, as will a Design Advisory Group consisting of the CPC Chair and members appointed by the City Council and affected Borough Presidents. The Public Design Commission will also review the design guidelines and will ultimately review the design of all four projects.

The Design-Build teams that are selected as a result of the RFP process will present the schematic design for each facility to local neighborhood leaders, civic association members and local community board representatives. The City has also committed to four neighborhood presentations to review the use of each facility’s ground floor and how they will integrate into the local neighborhood.

On February 4th DDC issued a Request for Qualifications soliciting Statements of Qualifications (SOQs) from firms interested in designing and constructing the four new facilities. In November, RFQs were issued soliciting SOQs for firms interested in early program work at the sites where new facilities will be built in Brooklyn and Queens. 


About the NYC Department of Design and Construction

The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $14 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit