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December 6, 2017

Two DDC Projects Honored at New York DRIVEN x DESIGN Awards

DDC Named “Design Champion” for 2017

Dan Leibel

New York, NY – Two projects managed by the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) – Public Safety Answering Center II in the Bronx and the reconstruction of Times Square Pedestrian Plaza – earned recognition for excellence in design at the 2017 DRIVEN x DESIGN New York Design Awards. The DDC was also awarded the distinction of “Design Champion” for being the most significant commissioner of design in New York in 2017.

“It’s fantastic to see the DDC’s passion and commitment to design across the city,” said New York Design Awards Chair Mark Bergin. “Large design projects, such as those seen in the New York Design Awards. contribute significantly to the economy, but equally improve equity and access to services for all New Yorkers. The DDC, and Mayor de Blasio, deserve to be celebrated for their role in these important initiatives.”

Public Safety Answering Center II (PSAC2) in the Bronx, a 450,000-square-foot building that houses the backup response centers for the City’s emergency response agencies, earned the Silver Award for Excellence in Design. The building functions as a parallel operation to the existing PSAC I in downtown Brooklyn and provides backup for the current emergency 911 response service. DDC managed construction of the building and the NYC Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications (DoITT) coordinated the center’s massive information technology systems, which integrate over a dozen public safety systems, in constant collaboration with FDNY and NYPD.

Designed in collaboration with the architects at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, the building was also honored earlier in the year with a design award from the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter.

PSAC II in the Bronx was recognized for excellence in design at the 2017 Driven x Design awards ceremony

The facility provides redundancy to current 911 services, strengthening the City’s ability to maintain communication in the event of a natural disaster or large-scale emergency. When fully staffed it can accommodate 400 911 operators and 150 administrative personnel. Over 1,600 miles of copper and fiber cables were installed to handle data.

The building is also designed to LEED Gold standards. Sustainable features include drought-resistant landscaping, which uses less potable water for the site irrigation; low-flow fixtures and stormwater collection for toilet use, which conserves potable water throughout the building; and low-emitting materials which help maintain healthy interior air quality. An “Active Modular Phytoremediation System” (AMPS) green feature wall in the building lobby uses plant material to filter and clean the air, and provide a more relaxing environment for the staff.

Times Square Pedestrian Plaza
The reconstruction of Times Square Pedestrian Plaza added two acres of new pedestrian space to midtown

The reconstruction of Times Square Pedestrian Plaza, completed in December 2016, capped off a seven-year initiative that added approximately two acres of pedestrian space to the heart of Manhattan. DDC managed the project for the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT). The completed reconstruction includes wider sidewalks; amenities such as bike racks and benches; rebuilt curbs, streets and sidewalks; modern street and traffic lighting; and a new southbound raised bike lane on 7th Avenue.

Prior to the completion of the above-ground work, the area received new sewers and water mains and utility companies such as Con Edison and Verizon also completed about $25 million of underground utility upgrades. Also hidden from view are electrical lines and other cables and outlets that allow for street performances and events without the need to run wires above ground. Several lengths of old unused streetcar tracks were also removed.

The project was designed by the architecture and design firm Snøhetta under the DDC’s Design and Construction Excellence Program. All firms in the program are committed to incorporating DDC’s Design and Construction Excellence 2.0 Guiding Principles into their work, a series of non-prescriptive guidelines designed to ensure that public projects are designed and built to the highest standards that comply with Mayor de Blasio’s vision of a sustainable, resilient, equitable, and healthy City.

The project also received a 2017 Design Merit Award from the New York chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).

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