by Linda G. Miller
Event: 25th Annual Art Commission Awards for Excellence in Design; and Art Commission Awards for Excellence in Design Exhibition Opening
Location: Rose Center for Earth and Space, American Museum of Natural History, 07.17.07 (award ceremony); Center for Architecture, 07.23.07 (exhibition opening)
Speakers: (award ceremony) James P. Stuckey — Art Commission President; Patricia E. Harris — First Deputy Mayor; Jackie Snyder — Art Commission Executive Director; Commissioners Nicholas Scoppetta (Fire), John Doherty (Sanitation), Janette Sadik-Khan (Transportation), Adrian Benepe (Parks), Kate Levin (Cultural Affairs), David Burney, AIA (Design + Construction), Robert Hess (Homeless Services), Jonathan Mintz (Consumer Affairs).
Organizers: (award ceremony) Office of the Mayor; Art Commission of the City of New York; (exhibition) AIANY; Art Commission of the City of New York
Exhibition Designer: Pentagram
Sponsors: (exhibition) Exhibition Patron: F.J. Sciame Construction; support provided in part by the George Lewis Fund
Prototypical Street Furniture for Installation Citywide — Newsstand, designed by Grimshaw Architects/Cemusa for the NYC Departments of Transportation (DOT) and Consumer Affairs (DCA).
Garretted away on the third floor of City Hall the Art Commission of the City of New York is NYC’s design review agency, an organization that has widespread influence over the five boroughs despite being hidden from view. The agency’s directive is to review permanent works of art, architecture, and landscape architecture proposed for city-owned property. Its scope includes 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 was established in 1898 and for the past 25 years it has presented awards of excellence. Out of approximately 300 projects in review, this year the Commission selected 10, which are currently showcased at Art Commission Awards for Excellence in Design now on view at the Center for Architecture.
The Commission also honored Michael Friedlander, a 25-year veteran of the Department of Sanitation and its director of special projects, with a Special Recognition Award for the quality of design he brings to the department’s capital projects. As part of this award he is cited for the two Manhattan projects that he submitted to the commission last year — construction of a salt shed at West 55th Street and 12th Avenue, and a garage at 543 East 73rd Street.
“The 10 winning projects exemplify the ideas of high-quality and innovative public design, and their sponsoring agencies and architects should be very proud of their accomplishments,” Mayor Bloomberg proclaimed in a statement issued by the Office of the Mayor. This is evident in the exhibition at the Center, where you can view all of the award winning projects while sitting on a real bus stop bench — a component of the new bus stop shelters, newsstands, and automatic self-cleaning toilets designed by Grimshaw Architects/Cemusa for the NYC Departments of Transportation (DOT) and Consumer Affairs (DCA).
Projects of the Department of Design + Construction (DDC), in collaboration with architecture firms, garnered five awards: Department of Homeless Services with Polshek Partnership Architects (DHS Family Center, Bronx); the Fire Department of NY (FDNY) with Polshek Partnership Architects (Rescue Company 3 Firehouse, Bronx); the FDNY with Dean/Wolf Architects (EMS Station 50, Queens Hospital Center); the Queens Library with Marble Fairbanks (Glen Oaks Library, Queens); and the DOT and the DCA’s Percent for Art Program with artist Nobuho Nagasawa and Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architecture (Columbia Waterfront District, Brooklyn). The Department of Parks and Recreation with Toshiko Mori Architect’s Poe Park Visitor Center, and the DOT, Port Authority of NY and NJ, and Department of Parks and Recreation with artist Elyn Zimmerman’s CaVaLa Park are also on view. All of these projects except CaVaLa Park and the Columbia Waterfront District are part of the DDC’s Design + Construction Excellence program.