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De Blasio Administration Announces Winners of 37th Annual Awards for Excellence in Design

June 4, 2019

NEW YORK—TodayDeputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been, Public Design Commission President Signe Nielsen and Executive Director Justin Moore honored 10 public projects at the Public Design Commission’s 37th Annual Awards for Excellence in Design.

The winning projects were selected by Public Design Commission members from the hundreds of submissions and exemplify a well-rounded approach to design that goes beyond aesthetics to create meaningful and welcoming civic spaces and resilient infrastructure.

The Design Awards book is available here and high-resolution images here.

As part of this year’s event, the Public Design Commission published Women-Designed NYCcelebrating the work of women who have shaped the public realm in New York City. The book highlights projects that have received awards over the past ten years and were led by women architects, landscape architects, engineers, designers, and artists.

The Women-Designed NYC book is available here and a selection of high-resolution images here.

“Design is a crucial to achieve our vision for a more resilient and equitable City. The sustainable infrastructure, safe streetscapes, and open spaces featured in these winning projects will benefit all New Yorkers for generations to come,” said Mayor de Blasio

"This year's awardees reflect the very best of design in public works, housing, and libraries, parks, and public art,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been.  "Each project seeks to elevate the ways we can make public spaces more resilient, fair, and accessible.  Congratulations to this year's awardees for creating innovative ways to bring New Yorkers together, and to reflect our shared goal of making NYC the fairest big city through design."

“The Public Design Commission is pleased to recognize these outstanding civic projects, which exemplify how good design is an essential component of providing inclusive, safe, and inspiring spaces for our city. Tonight we also recognize the teams who worked diligently to ensure these designs will serve the communities in which they are constructed,” said Public Design Commission President Signe Nielsen.

"At the Public Design Commission, we know that great design can make a real difference in our communities and our everyday lives. From providing new affordable housing, safer streets, public artwork, and waste infrastructure to efforts to help address the complex past, present, and future of our city's public realm, this year's awardees show us that what makes "good design" is as diverse as our city. Excellence in design helps us to articulate not just the city we want, but the city that we deserve," said Public Design Commission Executive Director Justin Garrett Moore.

“Landscape architects can be on the forefront of helping translate some of the world’s most intractable problems – equity, climate change, and extreme biodiversity loss – into manageable site-scaled responses. New York is a global city and a model for both best and worst practices. The PDC is an example of enlightened and design-driven dialogue (that goes beyond the typical role of municipal management of just approving or denying building permits) to really be proactive in shaping the future of the urban landscape,” said landscape architect Kate Orff. is fully committed to ensuring women’s contributions are celebrated in the public realm,” said Faye Penn, Executive Director. “The design professionals recognized today have helped make New York’s shared spaces more equitable, and for that we applaud them.”

The Design Award-Winning Projects

The Peninsula Mixed-use Development     

Tiffany Street, Spofford Avenue, and Manida Street, Bronx
A project of the Economic Development Corporation
WXY architecture + urban design
Body Lawson Associates Architects & Planners
Elizabeth Kennedy Landscape Architect

Anchored by 740 units of affordable housing, The Peninsula Mixed-use Development will transform the site of the former Spofford Juvenile Detention Center into a vibrant, mixed-use community with creative production and rehearsal spaces, a daycare, a health and wellness center, and a supermarket.

Third Street Men’s Shelter Garden and Greenhouse

A project of the Department of Homeless Services
Hester Street
Grain Collective
Project Renewal

At the Third Street Men’s Shelter, an underutilized East Village lot was transformed into a welcoming space for shelter residents with a garden and greenhouse for educational use, including culinary training, horticultural therapy, and wellness programs.

Manhattan Pet Adoption Center

323 East 109th Street, Manhattan
A project of the Department of Design and Construction and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Studio Joseph

In East Harlem, a one-story garage will be creatively adapted into the new Manhattan Pet Adoption Center, providing a colorful and sunlit space for dogs, cats, and rabbits awaiting adoption.

Vision Zero Great Streets – Queens Boulevard Reconstruction

Queens Boulevard from Roosevelt Avenue to Union Turnpike, Queens      
A project of the Department of Design and Construction and the Department of Transportation

The Vision Zero Great Streets initiative aims to transform Queens Boulevard into a grand thoroughfare. The design will calm traffic and provide safer passages for pedestrians and cyclists with raised bike paths and pedestrian walkways, and broad, tree-filled medians with lush plantings.

Gowanus Combined Sewer Overflow Facility and Open Space

Gowanus Canal, Butler Street, Nevins Street, and Degraw Street, Brooklyn
A project of the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Parks & Recreation
Selldorf Architects

This new facility will provide the essential service of limiting combined sewer overflows into the Gowanus Canal. The terracotta façade blends in with surrounding red brick buildings while establishing a contemporary presence and providing key views into the facility’s interior operation. The 1.6-acre open space offers multipurpose passive recreation and a waterfront esplanade inspired by the canal’s natural and industrial past.

Bay Breeze Park      

Beach Channel Drive between Old Beach 88th Street and Beach 89th Street, Far Rockaway, Queens
A project of the Department of Parks & Recreation
Quennell Rothschild & Partners
Sage and Coombe Architects

This new park on the Jamaica Bay shore will turn an undeveloped 2 acres into a community beach-front destination. The design capitalizes on existing site features, such as a circular foundation wall -- a relic of the site’s industrial past – that’s re-envisioned as a seating terrace. Built for resiliency, the kayak storage building is enclosed with a porous aluminum grille façade that allows water to flow through the structure in the event of flooding.

Feynman Code by Pablo Helguera 

Far Rockaway Community Library, 16-37 Central Avenue, Far Rockaway, Queens
A project of the Department of Cultural Affairs’ Percent for Art Program, the Department of Design and Construction, and Queens Public Library
Pablo Helguera

For Far Rockaway’s new library, artist Pablo Helguera created a visual code using the diagrams of Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist and Far Rockaway resident, Richard Feynman. Using this code, quotes will be installed in the library for visitors to discover and decode, celebrating Feynman’s legacy and the value of intellectual curiosity that is embodied in the mission of public libraries.

Staten Island 1 & 3 Districts Garage          

Fresh Kills, Muldoon Avenue and West Shore Expressway, Staten Island  
A project of the Department of Design and Construction and the Department of Sanitation
TEN Arquitectos

Staten Island’s new Sanitation Garage facility will serve two sanitation districts and provide a pubic household recycling center. The garage maintains a low profile within the landscape and includes a sprawling array of rooftop photovoltaic panels, contributing to the City’s goals ofreducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 percent by 2050.

Special Recognition

The Bluebelt Program         

Staten Island and Queens      
A project of the Department of Environmental Protection

As New York City prepares for heavier rains due to climate change, Bluebelts offer a natural and effective toolkit for stable and sound stormwater management that can be employed through the city.

The Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers

A project of the Department of Cultural Affairs

The Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers provided a blueprint for achieving equity and diversity in the City’s public commemorations, which inspired She Built NYC, an initiative that will commission six new monuments to women within the next four years, beginning with Shirley Chisholm in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.

The Public Design Commission

The Public design Commission reviews permanent works of architecture, landscape architecture, and art proposed on or over City-owned property. The Commission comprises 11 members, including an architect, landscape architect, painter, sculptor, and three lay members, as well as representatives of the Brooklyn Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Public Library, and the Mayor.

Members of the Commission serve pro bono and meet once per month. Projects considered for the annual awards are submitted by City agencies and include the construction, renovation, or restoration of buildings and other structures; the creation or rehabilitation of parks, playgrounds, and plazas; installation of lighting and other streetscape elements; signage; and the installation and conservation of artwork and memorials. The Commission has been honoring extraordinary projects annually since 1983.

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