LATEST NEWS

Columbia University’s Medical Center Leads Packs In A Cluster Of NYC Design Award Winners

In a city of striking buildings, some stand out more than others. AIA’s annual design awards gave props to some of the best.

By Jeff Vasishta March 10, 2017
Image courtesy of Iwan Baan / NY Curbed

In a city where iconic buildings fill the sky like flocks of migrating birds, New York is always in the mix at the AIA’s Annual Design Awards. This year was no exception, with cluster of awards going to the Big Apple’s most innovative new buildings.

The top prize went to Columbia University’s new cascading medical building. When it was being constructed, onlookers may have been forgiven wondering if the contractors were possibly reading the plans upside down. The eye catching zig-zag shape is unlike anything most people would have seen before. Curbed NY reported that the site of the education center was once occupied by a six-story townhouse which the university owned. Once it was demolished, the  relatively narrow lot on which the new building was to be constructed was a challenge for the architecture team of Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Gensler.

Building up was the best solution, using a vertical staircase to run the length of the building which interweaves between study and social spaces throughout this 100,000 square foot building.

RelatedDeveloper’s Bet Big On Detroit’s Turnaround With Luxury Condo Projects

“Space matters for structured and informal learning,” Elizabeth Diller, one of the founding partners at Diller Scofidio + Renfro, said in a statement. “To support Columbia’s progressive medical education program, we designed a building that will nurture collaboration.”

The design awards, however, were not simply meted out for aesthetically quirky or unique structures. Every project was selected based on its “design quality, response to its context and community, program resolution, innovation, thoughtfulness, and technique.”

That left the door open to all manner of different creations and so, suitably New York’s winners were as diverse as they were innovative.

Amongst the Merit Award winners were Long Island City’s Sculpture Center by Andrew Berman Architect, which fuses an old school industrial red facade with modern interiors. The neighboring glassy towers also add to the juxtaposition of design styles at play.

RelatedSpace Age Campus Designs For The Tech Big-Wigs Are Transforming The Concept Of Office Space

Greenpoint’s A/D/O building has certain similarities in that nArchitects took the shell of a grafitti-ed red brick commercial building (the former Brooklyn Night Bazaar) and redesigned it into workspace and design collaboration center.

“We chose to create variable connections between gastro, event, design, exhibition and retail spaces,” nArchitects principal Eric Bunge explained of the design. The 23,000-square-foot space consists of a design shop, a fabrication studio, and a restaurant run by Scandinavian chefs Fredrik Berselius and Claus Meyer.

Not to be outdone, The Bronx’s Public Safety Answering Center II is a striking metallic modernist structure which is actually a call center for the city’s 911 operators. Designed by starchitects, its unlike anything the Bronx has ever seen.

Proving that size doesn’t matter, one of architects’ WORKac provisos from developers Knightsbridge Properties, in reconfiguring Tribeca’s Stealth Building at 93 Reade Street into four apartments, was to add a penthouse which couldn’t be seen from the street. The building sits within a historic district and so pedestrian foot traffic had to be oblivious from the hidden glass triplex perched atop the roof.

Other NYC award winners include The Jewish Museum’s exhibit of over 180 rare works from French designer and architect Pierre Chareau and the alternative concept of Penn Station as envisioned by Practice for Architecture and Urbanism founder Vishaan Chakrabarti. They are among full list of all NY Award winners and notable mentions  being celebrated by AIA New York’s Center for Architecture.

Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

  • AGORAFY
    Stefano Boeri, the architect mastermind behind the famous plant-covered skyscrapers, is now designing Forest Cities in Liuzhou, China. #ForestCity #China https://goo.gl/PsTUwv
  • AGORAFY
    Auction is the second scheduled in a month for a One57 unit and it could set a NYC foreclosure record. #BillionairesRow #Foreclosures https://goo.gl/NZ3zqD
  • AGORAFY
    Once a couch-surfing website, Airbnb moves on to luxury properties, further disrupting hospitality industry. #Airbnb #Luxury https://goo.gl/7TpLk6
Four Countries To Retire In With $200K In Savings—And How Much Real Estate Costs There
Ever dreamed of retiring abroad? You know, affordable healthcare, better climate, more positive news—becoming an expat seems like an enticing option, especially one you no…
While Other Real Estate Platforms Start Charging Agents $3-Per-Day Exposure Fee, Agorafy Remains Accessible To All
Real Estate searching platform are always finding news ways to diversify their revenues models. Case in point—on Tuesday July 18, Streeteasy, one of New York…
Is Real Estate Crowdfunding The Fix That Urban Housing In America Really Needs?
Saving money for a down payment? One can only hope. Most millennial in their twenties or thirties are mortified that they might never be able…
Brooklyn And Queens’ Real Estate Sub-Markets Continue Their Ascent To The New Heights
So, the sales prices in Brooklyn and Queens hit record highs. Again. Just like they did in December 2016 and at the end of this…
The Economy Of Car Services And Delivery Apps Might Be Making NYC Less Eco-Friendly
Living in an eco-friendly neighborhood is a good thing. And, as it always the case with the good things, it also costs more. High rents…
Building Communities: What The U.S. Developers Should Learn From Soho China
As our world emerges into the new period of globalization and technology, some of the most important by-products of this process are buildings that have…
Five Reasons Why All Entrepreneurs Must Keep Their Eyes On China
It is hard to overestimate the importance of Chinese influence on the modern global economy. Carving out a place in Chinese market and winning over…
Airbnb Up Their Game With A New Luxury Tier Featuring Mansions And Villas
Airbnb is about to seriously up their game. First, the company started testing a new service called Select in an attempt to push accommodation listings…