January 13, 2020
New York, NY, January 13, 2019 – A new exhibition organized by the Center for Architecture in Greenwich Village will highlight 15 years of superior public building projects created through the collaboration of the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) and many of the country’s most renowned architecture and design firms, plus many small and emerging firms. Featuring 22 municipal projects, Public Works: Reflecting on 15 Years of Project Excellence for New York City, presents the visionary designs developed for a range of City buildings, from firehouses to libraries to community health clinics, and how they enhance communities while contributing to a thriving, healthy, sustainable and resilient City.
Public Works will run from January 16th to April 4th and is free to the general public on the first floor of the Center for Architecture at 536 LaGuardia Place in Manhattan. DDC Commissioner Lorraine Grillo and AIANY and Center for Architecture Executive Director Benjamin Prosky, Assoc. AIA, will mark the opening with a reception and lecture focused on the importance of civic architecture and the ways the City coordinates with well-known architecture firms so their talents can benefit the entire New York City community.
“For 15 years, DDC has teamed up not just with some of the country’s most well-known architecture firms, but also many small, emerging firms that are pushing the boundaries of civic design,” said DDC Commissioner Lorraine Grillo. “The results of this effort can be seen in every borough with designs such as the Spring Street Salt Shed and the Queens Museum, which make communities more vital while managing the critical issues of growth and environmental sustainability.”
“The Center for Architecture is happy to help to raise awareness of DDC’s commitment to design excellence by highlighting 15 years of projects realized through the city’s ambitious public works program,” said AIANY and Center for Architecture Executive Director Benjamin Prosky. “I hope that visitors to the exhibition will better understand the great impact that well-designed public projects have on our city and our collective well-being. I look forward to seeing how the program will continue to work with architects and other design professionals to create much-needed quality- and life-enhancing public projects as our city continues to grow and serve its diverse communities and their interests.”
Featured in the exhibition for its role in advancing equity is the renovation and expansion of the Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn, which was completed by DDC in 2013 following a design by Caples Jefferson Architects. The project’s 23,000-square-foot Education and Arts Building hosts art exhibition and performance space, as well as educational programming for visitors and the local community. The Weeksville Heritage Center has earned LEED Gold certification and is surrounded by an interpretive landscape designed by Elizabeth Kennedy Landscape Architects.
Another project featured in the exhibition for its expansion of public space is the reconstruction of Times Square, completed by DDC in December 2016 based on a design by Snohetta. The project added approximately two acres of pedestrian space to the heart of Manhattan. It also includes wider sidewalks; amenities such as bike racks and benches; rebuilt curbs, streets and sidewalks; modern street and traffic lighting; and a new southbound raised bike lane on 7th Avenue.
The Center for Architecture’s exhibition program is supported in part by public funds from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the NYC Council.
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About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $14 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit nyc.gov/ddc.
About the Center for Architecture
The Center for Architecture is the premier cultural venue for architecture and the built environment in New York City, informed by the complexity of the City’s urban fabric and in dialogue with the global community. The Center shares a home with the AIA New York Chapter and has the unique advantage of drawing upon the ideas and experiences of practicing architects to produce thought-provoking exhibitions, informative public programs, and quality design education experiences for K-12 students. It also leads New York City’s annual month-long architecture and design festival, Archtober. The Center for Architecture’s aim is to further public knowledge about New York City architecture and architects, foster exchange and collaboration among members of the design, development, building, scholarly, and policy sectors, and inspire new ideas about the role of design in communities by presenting contemporary and practical issues in architecture and urbanism to a general audience. http://cfa.aiany.org