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March 7, 2016

New York City Department of Design and Construction Wins 2016 MASterworks Awards for ‘Best New Building’ and ‘Best Neighborhood Catalyst’

Municipal Arts Society of New York commends Department of Design and Construction for architectural excellence in new sanitation garages and restoration of Bronx/Manhattan High Bridge

Shavone Williams
Public Information Officer

Dan Leibel
Junior Public Information Officer

Long Island City—New York City’s Department of Design and Construction (DDC) was presented with awards for ‘Best New Building’ and “Best Neighborhood Catalyst’ at the 2016 MASterworks Awards by the Municipal Arts Society of New York on Wednesday, March 3 at 6:30 PM.

Construction of the Manhattan Districts 1/2/5 Sanitation Garage and Salt Shed, which was completed in association with Dattner Architects and WXYZ Architecture, earned the ‘Best New Building’ honor for excellence in architecture and design. The garage, developed to house vehicles and other equipment for the NYC Department of Sanitation, hosts a multitude of sustainable features including a 1.5-acre green roof that contains over 13,000 plants. The project was designed to meet LEED Gold certification and is a benchmark project for New York City’s Active Design program, which promotes the use of architectural design to encourage movement and improved fitness among the facility users.

DDC also recieved the honor of ‘Best Neighborhood Catalyst’ for the restoration and reopening of the High-Bridge, which links the Washington Heights neighborhood in Manhattan and the High Bridge neighborhood in the Bronx. The High Bridge project is a multiple span, steel and stone arch structure originally built in the style of the Roman aqueducts. It is the oldest surviving bridge in New York City. Built as part of the Croton Aqueduct that supplied New York City with water, the High Bridge was placed into service in 1848. The project provided the community with a structurally sound, reliable facility for pedestrian, bicycle and other non-vehicular traffic and helps promote Mayor de Blasio’s vision for healthy living in New York City.

“We’re extremely proud to be recognized for our hard work in improving the city’s public landscape by the Municipal Arts Society of New York,” said DDC Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora. “DDC is committed to building projects that are sustainable, provide equity, expand opportunities for healthy living, and are resilient - all while incorporating aesthetically pleasing design.”

Other features of the award-winning sanitation garage project include a salt shed that was designed to look like the crystalline structure of a salt particle, custom perforated-metal fins that reduce solar heat gain and glare while tracking the sun’s location throughout the day, municipal steam service, reducing fossil fuel emissions in the neighborhood, and incorporates harvested rainwater from green roof and collected steam condensate to serve as graywater in the building for truck washing.

Originally, the Harlem River-spanning High Bridge was an aqueduct, serving as New York City’s sole access to clean water. Since converted to a pedestrian bridge, this forgotten gem of New York City’s history was closed to the public for 40 years. In summer 2015, Commissioner Peña-Mora, along with NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver and several other civic and community leaders, celebrated the reopening of this crucial link between Manhattan and the Bronx. Parks and DDC restored and improved the 1,450-foot-long, 123-foot high bridge, making it safe and accessible to the public. As the only interborough bridge designed exclusively for pedestrians and bicyclists, the restoration of the High Bridge provides both Manhattan and the Bronx with more than 125 acres of green space, with baseball fields and basketball courts. For more information visit or

About the 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 lenses of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings, new or upgraded roadways, sewers, water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $10 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