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October 17, 2016

Twenty-Six Firms Selected for DDC’s Design and Construction Excellence 2.0 Program

Will Design the Next Generation of Public Projects, From Libraries to Firehouses

Four employees from DDC, DOT and Yeshiva University performing the ceromonial groundbreaking
DDC Commissioner Peña-Mora addresses participants in the Design and Construction Excellence program at DDC’s headquarters in Long Island City

Ian Michaels
Executive Director of Public Information


Long Island City, NY – Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora of the New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) announced today that following an extensive review process, 26 architecture and design firms have been pre-qualified and have contracted with DDC to participate in the next round of the City’s Design and Construction Excellence 2.0 Program, the fifth round overall since the program began in 2005.

The 26 firms will have exclusive rights until 2019 to respond to Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for design services for DDC projects where construction costs are projected to be $50 million or under. The program is designed to decrease the amount of time required for DDC to procure design services, while ensuring the highest levels of quality and professionalism in construction projects managed by the agency. 

Nine of the 26 firms qualify as Minority- or Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs). Mayor Bill de Blasio recently set the goal that 30 percent of the dollar amount of City contract awards will be to MWBEs by 2021. DDC in Fiscal Year 2015 awarded $242 million in contracts to MWBE firms, over a third of the agency’s total contract amount for the year.

“These firms will go on to design some of the City’s most prominent buildings with an eye toward equity, sustainability, resiliency, healthy living – values that fulfill the Mayor’s vision for the City,” said DDC Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora. “This process matches the most appropriate design consultant to capital projects, shortens the design timeline for future projects, and ensures that the consultants we contract with are familiar with the ‘Guiding Principles’ that we adhere to in our work.”

“We are very pleased to work with some of the most talented, committed and engaged design consultants in the world as we expand the context and purview of Design and Construction Excellence 2.0,” said DDC Chief Architect Margaret Castillo, FAIA. “The program allows DDC to build relationships with select architecture and design firms that have been pre-qualified to work for the City, and ensures ample opportunities for MWBEs to be an integral part of future civic design.”

“By promoting quality design, we can improve our City’s long-term resilience and sustainability, enhance access, mobility and public services, and contribute to the unique character and rich culture that make New York special,” said Public Design Commission Executive Director Justin Garrett Moore. “For over a decade, the DDC's Design and Construction Excellence Program has been one of the City's best tools to deliver quality public projects. This new round of DCE 2.0 firms builds on that legacy and reflects the diversity, creativity, and expertise that we need to help build our City and improve the quality of life in neighborhoods throughout our five boroughs.”

Among the recent public projects designed by firms in past rounds of the program are the Times Square pedestrian plaza, the new homes for FDNY’s Rescue Company 2 and NYPD’s 40th Precinct, and the Glen Oaks and East Flatbush libraries.

Once selected for Design and Construction Excellence 2.0, design consultants are given the opportunity to submit mini-proposals for the design of a variety of new building types, as well as more modest additions and renovations, and public plazas. A selection committee then ranks the proposals, and the highest-ranked firm is awarded the project. 

All firms in the program are committed to incorporating DDC’s Design and Construction Excellence 2.0 Guiding Principles into their work. DDC’s Guiding Principles are a series of non-prescriptive guidelines designed to ensure that public projects are designed and built to the highest standards that comply with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s vision of a sustainable, resilient, equitable, and healthy City. They are for consultants to follow when they partner with DDC, helping to provide durable, aesthetically pleasing projects that also address key challenges such as inequality and climate change.

The 26 firms have been placed into four categories based on number of professional staffers at each. For Round 5 of the program the number of categories has been expanded from two to four in order to give smaller firms a better opportunity to compete for project awards. 

Twelve of the firms in Round 5 of Design and Construction Excellence 2.0 have been participants in the program previously. Overall, the 26 firms that were in Round 4 of the program from 2013 to 2016 worked on 53 separate DDC projects with construction costs totaling over $235 million, and received over $26 million in design fees.

10 Micro Firms (1 to 5 professional staff, eligible for projects projected to cost up to $5 million)

  • Architecture In Formation
  • Body Lawson Associates
  • Buro Koray Duman
  • Dean/Wolf Architects
  • Elmslie Osler Architect (EOA)
  • G TECTS Architecture
  • Gans studio
  • Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture
  • Sen Architects
  • Slade Architecture

10 Small Firms (6 to 20 professional staff, eligible for projects projected to cost $2 to $15 million)

  • Atelier Pagnamenta Torriani
  • H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture
  • Huff + Gooden Architects
  • ikon.5 architects
  • Jaklitsch/Gardner Architects
  • Levenbetts
  • LTL Architects
  • OBRA Architects
  • Rice + Lipka Architects
  • Zakrzewski + Hyde Architects

3 Medium Firms (21 to 50 professional staff, eligible for projects projected to cost $10 to $35 million)

  • allied works architecture
  • BKSK Architects

3 Large Firms (Over 50 professional staff, eligible for projects projected to cost $25 to $50 million)

  • Dattner Architects
  • Marvel Architects
  • Studio Gang 

Download the Design and Construction Excellence 2.0 Guiding Principles here (PDF).

Additional photos from the Design and Construction Excellence 2.0 Program can be found here, courtesy of NYC DDC.


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 lenses of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, new or upgraded roadways, sewers, water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $15 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