By Carlotta Mohamed
Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Public Design Commission announced the 11 winners of this year’s 36th Annual Awards for Excellence in Design, including two from Queens.
In coordination with NYCXDesign — an annual citywide celebration of innovative art and design from around the world — the 2018 awards recognized projects which fulfill the de Blasio administration’s commitment to providing a more “equitable, resilient, and diverse city for all New Yorkers.” The designs help to improve recreational, cultural spaces, and historic structures in New York City. The five boroughs are featured in the awards encompassing education, culture, art, and recreation.
“These 11 winning schools, parks, libraries, museums, and artworks aren’t only beautiful – they enrich their communities by bringing revitalizing existing spaces and creating vibrant new ones,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Since 1983, the Public Design Commission has recognized outstanding public projects with its Annual Awards for Excellence in Design, according to nyc.gov.
“The projects that we are awarding today highlight the very best of our shared values and represent real investments in building a better city for all New Yorkers. Through excellence in design, our city’s agencies, architects, landscape architects, artists, and designers are working to enhance neighborhoods, improve our environment, health, and opportunities, and celebrate our creativity, history, and culture,” said Justin Garrett Moore, executive director, of the Public Design Commission.
One of the award-winning projects designed by Quennell Rothschild and Partners, is the Reflecting Pool in Flushing Meadows Corona Park that will be reconstructed by the Department of Parks and Recreation. The reconstruction design of the Reflecting Pool references the original use of the space as a water feature, yet transforms the site into an enjoyable and sustainable focal point in the park, according to a description from the Public Design Commission.
Another award-winning project designed by Silman, Jan Hird Pokorny Associates, and L’Observatoire International at Flushing Meadows Corona Park is the rehabilitation of the 1964 World’s Fair New York State Pavilion Observation Towers and Tent of Tomorrow. The Department of Parks and Recreation will provide stabilization, restored lighting, and maintenance access that will lay the foundation for future preservation and potential adaptive reuse of the iconic structures.
Other winning projects include the reconstruction of Garrison Playground in the Bronx at East 146th St., Walton Avenue, and the Grand Concourse; and renovation of the Brownsville Recreation Center in Brooklyn at 1555 Linden Blvd.,both of which will provide communities with much-needed recreation and amenities with human-centered designs; The Studio Museum in Harlem at 144 West 125 St.; the Westchester Square Branch Library at 9 Westchester Square, Bronx; the Snug Harbor Cultural Center Music Hall at 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island; the Concert Grove Pavilion in Prospect Park, Brooklyn; and the Hamilton Fish Park Branch Library at 415 East Houston St.in Manhattan.
In addition, the construction of a new education center and hotel at Cornell’s Roosevelt Island campus will become a northern gateway to the center for learning,
while a prototypical design for city plaza kiosks will offer a sleek and cost-effective solution to maintaining public plazas.
“The Public Design Commission is pleased to recognize these outstanding public projects, which prove that thoughtful design is a critical component of providing quality, equitable, and sustainable public spaces to all New Yorkers. By utilizing key principles of good design, these projects will provide new opportunities for education and recreation, offer inspirational artworks and cultural programming, and preserve our city’s historic structures and public plazas for the future enjoyment of New Yorkers and visitors,” said Signe Nielsen, president of the Public Design Commission.
Reach reporter Carlotta Mohamed by e-mail at cmoha