Department of Design and Construction311Search all websites

October 26, 2016

The New York Times Cites Four DDC Projects as Bold Examples of Public Design and “Architecture for All”

Ian Michaels
Executive Director of Public Information

Long Island City, NYThe New York Times today recognized four New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) projects as examples of bold public architecture and design.

The Spring Street Salt Shed in Manhattan, Rescue Company 2 in Brooklyn, the 40th Precinct in the Bronx, and the Far Rockaway Library in Queens were all cited by the newspaper as “architecturally imaginative public buildings” in a “big – and architecturally bold – year so far for New York’s municipal buildings.”

“From incorporating features that augment active design and mental well-being, to designs that raise the bar on standards of sustainability and resiliency, the DDC projects appreciated by The New York Times today are indeed imaginative and bold,” said DDC Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora. “Most importantly they serve all New Yorkers. We try to surpass expectations with our public building designs and truly create architecture for all, and the level of recognition we receive indicates that we are succeeding.”

"These projects exemplify how excellent design can also be sustainable, resilient and contribute positively to healthy and equitable communities," said DDC Chief Architect Margaret Castillo, FAIA. “Architectural excellence is a function of values starting with a sense of urgency and responsiveness. Projects such as the Salt Shed and Rescue 2 relate directly to community comments and concerns."

The Spring Street Salt Shed
The Spring Street Salt Shed at the West Side Highway in Manhattan

The Spring Street Salt Shed was built in 2015 by DDC for the New York City Department of Sanitation. The New York Times in December 2015 called the Salt Shed and an adjacent sanitation garage by DDC “two of the best examples of new public architecture in the City.” In September it was the site of a fashion show by designer Heron Preston as part of New York Fashion Week.

In all, the Shed has won at least six major awards, including the AIA New York Architecture Honor Award; the AIA New York State Design Award for Excellence; the NYC Art Commission Design Award 2011; Best New Building—Municipal Arts Society (MAS) MASterworks Awards; the Concrete Industry Board (CIB) Roger H. Corbetta Award, Public Works; and the SARA NY Design Award for Sustainability.

Rescue Company 2
Artist’s rendering of the future firehouse for Rescue Company 2 in Brooklyn

DDC and the Fire Department (FDNY) recently broke ground on a new home for FDNY’s Rescue Company 2 in Brooklyn. The 21,000-square-foot project will provide space for multiple FDNY vehicles, as well as ample space for tools, special rescue gear such as SCUBA equipment. The new facility will be organized around a large interior space that extends from the ground to roof level, and will enable the company to practice rescue scenarios that mimic conditions common to the City, using its height and associated elements of balconies, bridge, doorways, ladders, and stairs.

The building is also designed to maximize energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions, conserve water, and contribute to a healthy urban environment through integrating environmentally responsible practices. A geothermal system and a solar water heating system will reduce by one-third the energy required to heat and cool the building. A green roof and permeable pavement will also be included along with LED lighting with motion sensors to reduce electricity usage. It is expected to be completed by summer 2018, and has received the Public Design Commission of the City of New York’s award forExcellence in Design.

the future 40th Precinct
An artist’s rendering of the future 40th Precinct in the Bronx

The new 40th Precinct is being built by DDC for the Police Department (NYPD) as a 49,000-square-foot replacement of the existing precinct in the South Bronx. The building will include a community room with a street level entrance to help facilitate regular communication between the community and the precinct’s officers. It also will include a partial basketball court in the parking lot for community use, and training facilities for NYPD personnel.

The new 40th Precinct will meet standards for LEED Silver certification, and will feature several green roofs, bicycle parking, permeable pavers to help with stormwater management, and charging stations for electric vehicles. It is anticipated to begin construction in 2017 and be completed in late 2020.

Far Rockaway Library
Artist’s rendering of the future Far Rockaway Library in Queens

At 18,000 square feet, the new home of the Far Rockaway Library will double the space of the existing building, and will serve the neighborhood with library services, programs for all ages, after-school study hours, story reading and community events. Entry will be through a tall transparent glass pyramidal opening at the corner, with interior spaces organized around an inverted pyramidal atrium.  The central atrium space allows the penetration of natural light to the ground floor within the interior of the deep floor plate, as well as a view of the sky from within the building.  

The project is currently in design and has also received the Public Design Commission’s award for Excellence in Design. It is being designed toward LEED Silver certification, with recycled and durable materials, natural ventilation, geothermal heat pumps, and energy efficient lighting and mechanical systems. A central staircase will encourage more physical activity, while the library's reading areas and meeting spaces create oases of calm, thereby reducing stress.

All four of the projects incorporate DDC’s Design and Construction Excellence 2.0 Guiding Principles, and three of the four were designed under DDC’s Design and Construction Excellence 2.0 program, which pre-selects and pre-qualifies design firms that DDC works with on projects with construction budgets of up to $50 million. 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.

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. 

Rick Bell, FAIA, DDC’s Executive Director of Design and Construction Excellence, said, "Design excellence is also defined by DDC's sensitivity to the concerns of the community. DDC has issued non-prescriptive ‘Guiding Principles’ on the priorities of equity, sustainability, resiliency and healthy living that will help assure that many more exemplary projects will match those applauded by The New York Times."

DDC recently announced the next group of design and architecture firms that will participate in the program up to 2019. 

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

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