Bomb squad building, verdant library, and others score NYC design awards

Excellence in Design Awards

Bomb squad building, verdant library, and others score NYC design awards

Today officials revealed winners of New York’s annual Awards for Excellence in Design, a recognition of the city’s best civic projects.

Timed to NYCxDESIGN, the city’s annual celebration of all things design and architecture, the projects being recognized contribute to the city’s public life, preserve its history, and exemplify sustainable approaches to buildings and landscapes. The awards, now in their 35th year, are presented by the Public Design Commission, an 11-member group of designers and representatives from New York’s cultural institutions that reviews art, architecture, and landscape architecture on city property.

“The best public projects are purposeful and use design to build a sense of community and civic pride,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, in a prepared statement. “We commend the teams behind these critical and creative projects that will help build a stronger, more equitable city and improve services and recreational activities for every New Yorker.”

Tonight, the mayor, along with Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, Public Design Commission President Signe Nielsen and Executive Director Justin Moore, will present awards to this year’s and last year’s honorees at a City Hall ceremony.

Get a sneak peek at the eight winners below (unless otherwise noted, all images and project descriptions in quotes are from the Mayor’s Office):


Greenpoint Library and Environmental Education Center
Marble Fairbanks; SCAPE Landscape Architecture
Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Brooklyn Public Library
“Exceeding LEED Silver goals, the center will become a demonstration project for innovative approaches to sustainable design, and an environmental learning tool for the community.”

Double Sun
Mary Temple
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Department of Cultural Affairs’ Percent for Art Program and Department of Parks & Recreation
“Gracing the interior of McCarren Park Pool’s dramatic archway entrance, Mary Temple’s paintings create a subtle and elegant visual disturbance.”

Downtown Far Rockaway Streetscape 
W Architecture and Landscape Architecture
Far Rockaway, Queens
Department of Design and Construction, Department of Transportation, and Department of Parks & Recreation
Incorporating Vision Zero strategies, this comprehensive streetscape design will foster a safer, more inviting, pedestrian experience in this central business district and transportation hub.”

Bomb Squad Building
Rice + Lipka Architects; Liz Farrell Landscape Architecture
Pelham Bay Park, Bronx
Department of Design and Construction and New York Police Department
“The simple and smart design of this resilient office and training facility elevates critical program elements above the floodplain and allows flood waters to flow through without damaging the building.”

Treetop Adventure Zipline and Nature Trek 
The Bronx Zoo
Department of Cultural Affairs, Department of Parks & Recreation, and Wildlife Conservation Society
“Two new adventures provide unique perspectives at the zoo—visitors can zip across the Bronx River and navigate a series of bridges with narrow beams, obstacles, and climbing wiggling surfaces.”

FIT New Academic Building
SHoP Architects; Mathews Nielsen
Fashion Institute of Technology
Agency: Department of Education and the Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York
“The first newly-constructed building on the FIT campus in nearly 50 years has an NEA award-winning design that reflects FIT’s commitment to openness, community engagement, and the robust exchange of ideas across many platforms.”

Woodside Office, Garage, and Inspection Facility
TEN Arquitectos; W Architecture and Landscape Architecture
Woodside, Queens
Agency: Department of Design and Construction and Taxi and Limousine Commission
“Serving as the central inspection location for over 13,500 taxis, this facility will provide a welcoming and dignified experience for drivers, reduce queuing times, and increase inspection capacity by more than 200 cars per day.”

The Cubes Administration and Education Building
Astoria, Queens
Agency: Department of Parks & Recreation and Socrates Sculpture Park
“Constructed of 18 shipping containers, the Cubes will be Socrates Sculpture Park’s first permanent structure in its thirty-year history and a manifestation of the organization’s emphasis on reclamation and adaptive re-use, as well as a reference to the neighborhood’s industrial roots.”


The Department of Environmental Protection, for the agency’s thoughtful design of green infrastructure in the watershed to help protect the city’s water supply.
DEP’s use of green infrastructure in its upstate properties not only results in resilient and innovative designs, but is a critical component of the agency’s ability to maintain the high quality of New York City’s drinking water supply.”

Conservation and Relocation of three WPA-era murals
EverGreene Architectural Arts; Fine Art Conservation Group; Morphosis; Weiss/Manfredi
Roosevelt Island, New York
Economic Development Corporation and Cornell Tech
“Commissioned in the 1940s by the Work Projects Administration (WPA), these murals were painted over and forgotten for decades. As part of the new Cornell Tech campus, the murals were uncovered and conserved and will be integrated into new campus buildings for public enjoyment.”

Tottenville Shoreline Protection
Stantec; RACE Coastal Engineering
Staten Island
Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, the Department of Parks & Recreation, the Department of Transportation, and the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York
“In tandem with ReBuild by Design’s Living Breakwaters Project, this shoreline initiative will increase public access by creating an interconnected and seamless waterfront trail, incorporating wetland enhancement, eco-revetments, hardened dune systems, shoreline plantings, maritime forest restorations, and earthen berms.”