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Four DDC Projects in Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island Receive Awards From the Public Design Commission

June 4, 2019

DDC: Ian Michaels, 718-391-1589,

(Long Island City, NY – June 4, 2019) Commissioner Lorraine Grillo of the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) announced today that four DDC projects have been selected by the Public Design Commission (PDC) to receive its Annual Award for Excellence in Design. This is the 37th year that PDC has presented the awards. The awards were presented today at a ceremony at the Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice on East 43rd Street in Manhattan.

In Manhattan, the design for the renovation of the Animal Care Center on East 109th Street received recognition, while in Staten Island the design for the new 1 & 3 Districts Sanitation Garage was also recognized. Two DDC projects in Queens received awards, including the design for the reconstruction of part of Queens Boulevard under the City’s “Great Streets” program and the Percent for Art installation that will be displayed at the new Far Rockaway Library when it is completed.

“These awards represent DDC’s commitment to delivering world-class buildings and infrastructure that meet the administration’s goals for a healthy and sustainable City,” said DDC Commissioner Lorraine Grillo. “Congratulations to all the DDC employees whose hard work has been recognized by the Public Design Commission today.”

The future Manhattan Pet Adoption Center will convert a deteriorated one-story garage into a dedicated adoption facility for the Animal Care Center of East Harlem. The building’s façade will bring in daylight and create an attractive and engaging street presence. An existing overhead garage door is reimagined as a new entry and storefront window that provides solar screening while offering views into the building. A steel rainscreen adds depth while preserving the existing masonry behind. The use of a color gradient on the screen’s fins creates an optical illusion, people to come inside.

The project was designed by Studio Joseph under DDC’s Design and Construction Excellence 2.0 program, which pre-selects and pre-qualifies design firms that DDC works with on most public buildings projects. 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.



An artist’s rendering of the façade of the future Manhattan Pet Adoption Center

Located in a low-lying 13.7-acre site in Freshkills, the new Staten Island District 1 & 3 Garage will serve two sanitation districts with vehicle storage and repair, office and personnel spaces, a household recycling center and salt storage. The garage features two stacked, offset volumes with metal above and concrete below, establishing a sense of human scale across the expansive façade. At the front of the garage, bright orange tiles mark the ground floor entry, above which a glazed staff cafeteria offers views out onto a small green roof.

To support the City’s goals for environmental sustainability, the project includes rooftop photovoltaic panels and comprehensive storm water management integrating three native ecological systems – grasslands, woodlands, and wetlands – to support native habitats and tie into broader local ecosystems. The project was designed by TEN Arquitectos under DDC’s Design and Construction Excellence Program.


An artist’s rendering of the future Staten Island District 1 & 3 Garage that DDC is building for the NYC Department of Sanitation

The Vision Zero Great Streets redesign of Queens Boulevard from Roosevelt Avenue to Union Turnpike will calm traffic by widening the service road and provide a raised bike path, pedestrian walkways and broad, tree-filled medians with landscaping, bicycle racks and seating areas. The bus stops will be relocated so passengers are discharged on the widened service road medians, providing more generous circulation areas for pickup and drop-off.  DDC is managing the project for the NYC Department of Transportation. The design was by AECOM and NV5.


A rendering showing a segment of Queens Boulevard redesigned under the City’s Vision Zero Great Streets program with new pedestrian safety features and a new dedicated bus lane

Feynman Code, the Percent for Art installation created by Mexican artist Pablo Helguera for the new Far Rockaway Library, pays tribute to the Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist and Far Rockaway resident, Richard Feynman (1918-1988), who was widely regarded as one of the most influential physicists of the 20th century for his work on nuclear physics and for his role in popularizing science through books and lectures.

For this project, Helguera invented a visual code that replaces every letter of the alphabet with one of Feynman’s diagrams – pictorial representations of the mathematical expressions describing the behavior of subatomic particles. At the second floor of the library’s central atrium, the artist encodes two quotes, the first by the 19th-century American poet Emily Dickinson: “The brain is wider than the sky,” and the other by Feynman himself: “I, a universe of atoms, an atom in the universe.”


The Percent for Art project for the new Far Rockaway Library is dedicated to the work of Richard Feynman, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist from the neighborhood

In 2018, three DDC projects received awards from PDC, including the renovation of Hamilton Fish Park Library and Percent For Art projects at Snug Harbor Center Music Hall in Staten Island and at Westchester Square Library in the Bronx. DDC received another three PDC awards in 2017 for the design for the Downtown Far Rockaway Streetscape and the new Taxi and Limousine Commission Garage and Inspection Facility in Queens, as well as a new NYPD Bomb Squad facility in the Bronx. DDC also received three PDC design awards in 2016 for the 40th Police Precinct in the Bronx, the Waterfront Nature Walk in Brooklyn and the Snug Harbor Cultural Center Music Hall Addition in Staten Island.

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 long-term vision 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, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $12 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