Department of Design and Construction311Search all websites

Bronx Children’s Museum Receives 2023 Design Award From AIA New York

The First Use of Curved Cross-Laminated Timber Panels in the U.S.

DDC: Ian Michaels, 646-939-6514,

(Long Island City, NY – February 6, 2023) Commissioner Thomas Foley of the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) announced today that the Bronx Children’s Museum, which DDC completed last year and which opened to the public in November 2022, has received a citation as part of the American Institute of Architecture New York’s (AIANY) 2023 Design Awards for the innovative use of curved cross-laminated timber panels, the first time such material has been used in construction in the U.S.

interior of new museum for children in the bronx

The new Bronx Children’s Museum opened in November with the first curved cross-laminated timber panels used in US construction

“Through our Project Excellence program, DDC has been able to work with the nation’s best design firms as well as small and emerging firms to create beautiful new spaces like the Children’s Museum, as well as new libraries, cultural centers, firehouses and other public buildings,” said DDC Commissioner Thomas Foley. “This innovative design encourages fluid movement and uses innovative construction techniques and materials to give the Bronx and all New Yorkers the children’s museum it deserves.”

The design of the new Museum was completed by O'Neill McVoy Architects under DDC’s Project Excellence program, which pre-qualifies firms to provide design services for City public buildings projects, reducing the time required to procure design services while ensuring the highest levels of quality and professionalism in construction projects managed by the agency. In March 2022, DDC announced 20 firms that have been selected to provide architectural design services in the current round of Project Excellence, including ten Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs).

The design catalyzes the site’s position between the city grid and tidal river with an architecture of organic flow inside the rectangular frame of a 1925 historic powerhouse, according to AIANY’s announcement.

interior of new museum for children in the bronx

The new Bronx Children’s Museum uses curved, flowing spaces that emulate a natural landscape

“The design’s spatial flow creates a new kind of space, unlike the city’s cellular rooms and street grids, that connects kids to the experience of natural landscape and the waterfront,” said AIANY. “Walls, guardrails, doors, stairs, and floors are made of cross-laminated timber, fabricated with advanced digital technology allowing for varying radii arcs to form organic space, the first use of curved CLT in the U.S.”

The Museum is also expected to achieve LEED Silver Certification for environmental sustainability. DDC managed the $14 million project at 725 Exterior Street for NYC Parks, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) and the Museum.

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 Adams’ 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 $15.5 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