Mayor Bloomberg Honors Winners Of Art Commission Awards For Excellence In Design

July 17, 2007

Twenty-Fifth Annual Awards Celebrate Highest Design Standards for Public Projects

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Art Commission President James P. Stuckey today honored ten public projects for excellence in design at the 25th Annual Art Commission Awards. The ceremony, held at the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History, also included a special recognition award for Mike Friedlander, the Department of Sanitation's Director of Special Projects, for the consistent quality of his capital project designs. The winning projects - which will be on display at the American Institute of Architects' Center for Architecture from July 23rd to September 1st - were selected from hundreds of submissions that the Art Commission reviewed in 2006. The Mayor and Stuckey were joined by First Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris, Art Commission Executive Director Jackie Snyder, Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta, Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty, Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate Levin, Design and Construction Commissioner David Burney, Homeless Services Commissioner Robert Hess and Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz.

"Great design ensures that public projects have the most positive impact possible on our City and our quality of life," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Thanks to the hard work of the Art Commission, initiatives like Design and Construction Excellence, and our focus on fostering the best in arts and architecture, more and more public projects are meeting higher standards of design. These ten projects exemplify the ideals of high-quality and innovative public design, and their sponsoring agencies and architects should be very proud of their accomplishments."

"This is an especially exciting time for the Art Commission, given the tremendous level of support from the Mayor and First Deputy Mayor Harris, the number of projects submitted for review, and the high caliber of our Commissioners," said Art Commission President Stuckey. "The annual Design Awards serve as a touchstone of first-rate design for all City projects to emulate, and the Commission looks forward to reviewing ever-improving designs over the coming year."

Along with his strong support of the Art Commission, the Mayor has improved the quality of public projects through the Design and Construction Excellence initiative, launched in 2004. The program encourages City agencies to strive for the same level of excellence in design for all public works - large and small. The initiative, which established new ways of contracting with design consultants to emphasize quality in the selection process, has helped secure the most creative designers for City-funded projects and has ensured excellence in the design and construction process. It has attracted world-renowned design firms as well as small and emerging ones, including minority and women-owned businesses.

The following are the recipients of the 25th Annual Art Commission Awards for Excellence in Design:

Reconstruction of Father Duffy Square, including the Replacement of the TKTS Booth
46th Street to 47th Street between Broadway and Seventh Avenue, Manhattan
John Choi and Tai Ropiha, Choi Ropiha
Nicholas Leahy, Perkins Eastman
William Fellows, William Fellows Architects

The rebuilding of Duffy Square represents a new era in the dramatic transformation of Times Square. The result of a partnership between the City and three private entities - the Times Square Alliance, the Theatre Development Fund and the Coalition for Father Duffy - the design integrates an expanded plaza, amphitheater-like steps and a new TKTS booth to provide much-needed open space.

Construction of the Glen Oaks Branch of the Queens Library
256-04 Union Turnpike, Queens
Scott Marble and Karen Fairbanks, Marble Fairbanks Architects

This project will replace an existing one-story facility with a new 18,000-square-foot, high-performance, LEED-certified building that maximizes natural daylight by using exterior materials like channel glass and a clear glass curtain wall system. Through the use of graphic film, the word "search" is projected by the sun onto the glass curtain wall, varying in scale and legibility as a result of the time of day, degree of sunlight, and season.

Construction of a Visitor Center
Poe Park, Grand Concourse between Kingsbridge Road and East 192nd Street, Bronx
Toshiko Mori, Architect

The Visitor Center is a community education facility that supports the historic Edgar Allan Poe Cottage in Poe Park and the Bronx Historical Society as well as general park activities. The form of the building, specifically its roofline - a form suspended between ascent and descent, suggesting "The Raven" - points to the site's historic elements.

Installation of Timecast by Nobuho Nagasawa and the Installation of Streetscape Improvements
Columbia Waterfront District, Van Brunt Street, DeGraw Street and Columbia Street, Brooklyn
Nobuho Nagasawa, Artist
Jennifer Cooper, Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects

This Percent for Art project is located on the sidewalks of an industrial neighborhood in Brooklyn. The shadows of newly planted native New York trees, such as Sweet Gum and Willow Oak, will be precisely traced at a selected time of day onto the bluestone sidewalk. After being traced, the shadows will be etched into the stone, becoming permanent silhouettes on the sidewalk. The improvements will accommodate a bike path in addition to the tree plantings.

Construction of Rescue Company 3
1655 Washington Avenue, Bronx
Todd H. Schliemann and Timothy P. Hartung, Polshek Partnership Architects

This project is for a highly specialized unit: one of the City's five rescue companies and its only collapse rescue unit. The overall design responds to its light-manufacturing context, and is a contemporary interpretation of a traditional firehouse. The building will be 20,000 square feet, with completion scheduled for 2009.

Construction of CaVaLa Park, including the Installation of a Sculptural Fountain by Elyn Zimmerman
Canal Street, Varick Street and Laight Street, Manhattan
Gail Wittwer-Laird, Department of Parks & Recreation
Elyn Zimmerman, Artist

This site will now be a green and welcoming gateway to Lower Manhattan. Its 250-year history (from swamp to housing to steel factory in the 1920s to a trolley turn-around in the 1930s to an open cobbled triangle that served as a post-9/11 temporary staging area and checkpoint) chronicles how fast urban progress took hold in New York City and how quickly any given piece of land was transformed to fit the immediate needs of its time. The project will go into construction this fall for completion in 2008.

Construction of EMS Station 50
Queens Hospital Center, Goethals Avenue and Parsons Boulevard, Queens
Kathryn Dean and Charles Wolf, Dean/Wolf Architects

The new EMS Station 50 is located on a sloping site at the edge of the Queens Hospital campus, facing a small-scale residential neighborhood. The design responds to the site's topography and the differing scales of the residential neighborhood and the hospital complex.

Construction of a Playground
Seaside Nature Park, Cleveland Avenue, Nelson Avenue, Tennyson Drive and the Shoreline, Staten Island
Gustavo Frindt, Department of Parks & Recreation

This is one of many public projects aimed at revitalizing the City's waterfront. The playground is the second phase in the development of this nearly three-acre park at Great Kills Harbor. It features a cove with gentle surf, which allows park patrons to experience the sea wildlife and water's edge up close.

Construction of the DHS Family Center
151 East 151st Street, Bronx
Todd H. Schliemann and Timothy P. Hartung, Polshek Partnership Architects

The goal of this expansive, welcoming and light-filled design is to create a dignified environment and sense of optimism, connecting to the community and surrounding
neighborhoods. The facility will achieve a LEED Silver rating, and features green roofs, rainwater collection, rain-screen façade system, construction/demolition waste management, and use of materials with recycled content.

Designs for Prototypical Street Furniture for Installation Citywide
Duncan Jackson, GRIMSHAW Architects

The city's bus stop shelter design had not been upgraded since the mid 1970s, the newsstands are of various condition and design, and the automatic public toilets have seen only short-lived tenures during various pilot programs. The Coordinated Street Furniture franchise enhances these public amenities with a unified design and maintenance program. By utilizing a single coordinated design citywide, the program has created a public design vernacular that is synonymous with New York City - similar to the red telephone booth in London.

Special Recognition Award for Mike Friedlander
Mike Friedlander, the Director of Special Projects at the Department of Sanitation, is being honored for the quality of design that he consistently brings to the Department of Sanitation's capital projects. He has won Design Awards for three projects: Queens Community District 14 Garage and Salt Shed (2003), Garage Complex for Districts 4, 4A and 7, Manhattan (2002), and Garage Complex for Districts 1 and 4, Brooklyn (2000). As part of his Special Recognition Award, he is also being cited for the two projects that he submitted to the commission last year: Construction of a salt shed, at West 55th Street and 12th Avenue, Manhattan, and Construction of a garage, 543 East 73rd Street, Manhattan.

The Art Commission is New York City's design review agency. Established in 1898, the Commission reviews permanent works of art, architecture and landscape architecture proposed for City-owned property. Projects include new construction, renovation or restoration of buildings, such as museums and libraries; creation or rehabilitation of parks and playgrounds; installation of lighting and other streetscape elements; and design, installation and conservation of artwork. The Art Commission is composed of 11 members, who serve pro bono, and includes an architect, landscape architect, painter and sculptor as well as representatives of the Brooklyn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New York Public Library.

Stu Loeser / Matthew Kelly

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