Design Excellence Takes Root

Design Excellence Takes Root

The Department of Design and Construction (DDC) released its preliminary list of architects selected for requirement contracts in the second round of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s Design and Construction Excellence Initiative (D+CEI). With these contracts, firms are not assigned a project, but prequalify for DDC work over the next two years.

Of 32 firms named, 24 were selected for contracts of $10 million and under, and eight for projects budgeted between $10 and $25 million. The new phase comes two years after the pilot D+CEI program was implemented as an alternative to the low-bid process of awarding public architecture contracts; the program aims to involve a broader pool of designers, engineers, and builders in developing high-quality civic spaces. 

The 24 architects proposed for smaller contracts were selected from 139 submissions. They include: Andrew Berman Architect, Atelier Pagnamente Torrian, Caples Jefferson Architects, Charles Rose Architects, Christoff:Finio Architecture, CR Studio Architects, Garrison Architects, LARC Studio, Locascio Architect, Lyn Rice Architects, Marble Fairbanks, Marpillero Pollak Architects, Michielli+Myetner Architects, nArchitects, OBRA Architect, Pasanella + Klein Stolzman + Berg, Sage & Coombe Architects, Slade Architecture,Steven Harris Architects, Steven Yablon Architects, Toshiko Mori Architects, W Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Weis + Yoes Architecture, and WORKArchitectureCompany.

Ninety-eight applications were submitted for the larger contracts, and the eight available awards were recommended to go to 1100:Architect, Deborah Berke&Partners Architects, Grimshaw, Polshek Partnership Architects, Smith-Miller + Hawkinson, Snøhetta, Steven Holl Architects, and Urbahn Architects with TEN Arquitectos. All of the firms are currently in contract negotiations; these should be finalized by early May.

The beginning of the second phase coincides with the first completion of a project from the pilot round: the interior reconstruction of a Montessori school in Queens by Slade Architecture. More than 60 projects contracted in the first phase are underway.

“There is a huge talent pool [in New York] that is hungry for work in cities that can pay for good design,” said Faith Rose, senior DDC design liason. “A lot of them love New York, and this is a chance for them to be part of its public fabric.” 

Correction: Due to an editing error Urbahn Architects was left off the list of firms receiving $10 million to $25 million contracts, and nArchitects was left off the $10 million and under group. AN appologizes for the mistakes.