Attention architects: New York City is looking for your help to design its newest public buildings.
The New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) has put out two RFPs through its Project Excellence Program to enlist up to 30 firms for design and technical services to build and renovate libraries, theaters, firehouses, recreation centers, and other public assets. (The program used to be called the Design and Construction Excellence Program but the agency retooled and rebranded for this year’s selection process.)
During the last RFP cycle in 2016, contracts for public building services were awarded to 26 firms; their contracts with the city end next year. Previous Design and Construction Excellence Program projects include Studio Gang’s red terracotta firehouse in Brownsville, Brooklyn, Dattner Architects’ Spring Street Salt Shed (below), and Steven Holl Architect’s airy, accessibility-challenged, and extremely over-budget Hunters Point Library in Long Island City, Queens.
In light of major cost overruns, most notably the Holl library fiscal fiasco, DDC representatives said that the department is working to overcome cost overruns and speed up project timelines on this round of the Project Excellence Program.
Like most other city agencies, the DDC will be operating on a reduced budget because of pandemic-decimated revenue streams. The new three-year contracts will solicit services from 20 architecture firms and 10 firms for technical design services like MEP, historic preservation, and landscape design. There will be a distributional aspect to the selections, as well: For architecture services, five small firms (those that employ 5–20 people) will be able to do projects with budgets up to $10 million, while firms with 50 or more employees will be eligible for projects with $50 million to $200 million budgets.
The RFPs were issued Friday, July 31, and they should be available to download here. (At press time, however, the link was broken.) Submissions for architectural design services are due on September 4, and entries for technical design services are due on September 25. To educate interested firms on the process and answer questions about the RFPs, DDC is hosting an online pre-proposal meeting on August 17.