Announcement | September 13, 2006

City of New York and American Institute of Architects choose Five Design-Development Team Finalists for First Juried Competition for Sustainable and Affordable Housing

New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Shaun Donovan and Mark Ginsberg, FAIA, former President of New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIANY), today announced the five architect-developer team finalists in the juried design competition for affordable and sustainable housing in New York City.


The project, known as the New Housing New York (NHNY) Legacy Project, emerges from a collaboration among the NHNY Steering Committee, HPD, the AIANY, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), and Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.


The NHNY Legacy Project encourages innovative design and financing approaches for the development of a mixed-use, mixed-income project, which will include energy-efficient systems as well as integrated design approaches that promote healthy living. The development will be located on a 40,000 square foot site at the southeast corner of East 156th Street and Brook Avenue in the Bronxchester Urban Renewal Area in the South Bronx. The city-owned property is steeply sloped and bounded at one end by an abandoned single-track railroad and retaining wall, making it an exciting design challenge for participants. The site includes approximately 20,000 square feet of air rights located above the privately-owned track.


The finalists chosen by the jury are:
Phipps Rose Dattner Grimshaw (Phipps Houses / Jonathan Rose Companies /
Dattner Architects / Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners)
Architects: Dattner Architects / Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners


Legacy Collaborative (The Dermot Company /Nos Quedamos/ Melrose Associates)
Architects: Magnusson Architecture and Planning (MAP) / Kiss + Cathcart (K+C)


WHEDCo / Durst Sunset LLC
Architects: Cook+Fox Architects, LLP


BRP Development Corporation
Architects: Rogers Marvel


Architects: Behnisch Architekten / studioMDA


The site is currently valued at more than $4 million and will be sold by the City to the awarded architect-developer team for a nominal fee. In exchange, the winning team will be required to ensure the resulting development includes housing for low and moderate-income families. The selected architect-developer group will be responsible for obtaining permanent financing that is consistent with the proposal. Proposals will be evaluated on the basis of design excellence and efficiency of the financing plan.


The competition was first announced at the Center for Architecture in June 2006. Thirty-two architect-development teams submitted qualifications to the design jury, which consists of prestigious architects, housing experts, community officials, and others including Lawrence Scarpa, AIA, Principal, Pugh + Scarpa Architecture and Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, Jr.


The panel took into consideration specific criteria when reviewing the teams’ qualifications, including innovative and sustainable design experience and economic capacity. Stipends for design-development teams are funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), which is rare for competitions of this scale.


The five finalists will submit full development proposals to the AIA New York Chapter at the Center for Architecture; from these proposals, the jury will choose one winning team to be announced in January 2007.


“For decades the South Bronx was plagued with abandoned and neglected properties, but today, thanks to investment by the City as well as private and nonprofit developers, the community is experiencing a dramatic revival,” said Commissioner Shaun Donovan. “The Department of Housing Preservation and Development is committed to further expanding affordable housing opportunities in the South Bronx, and across the city, through Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan to build or preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing over ten years. The terrific response by architects and developers to the New Housing/New York competition demonstrates that design excellence, environmental sustainability and affordability can be partnered and made
accessible to lower- and middle-class New Yorkers. We hope that these teams will develop an innovative mixed-income housing model for other developers and future generations.”


“I was impressed with the innovative design spirit that flowed throughout all of these designs submitted,” said jury Chair M. David Lee, FAIA, Adjunct Professor of Urban Design, Harvard School of Design. “It’s an exciting time for New York architecture right now, and this unique collaboration between architects and developers proved to us that good design isn’t just limited to high-profile institutions or businesses, but is available and even economical for lower-income building throughout the city. I look forward to seeing the final proposals fully fleshed out by these remarkable and talented teams.”


“When we decided to host a juried design competition that would require architects and developers to come together to generate the most original ideas, we knew we would get original ideas, but we were thrilled to have such a great response,” Mark Ginsberg said. “These five finalist teams represent the freshest and most exciting ideas in the development of an affordable and sustainable project. Design matters at all levels and especially in an affordable housing project like this one. We believe that the architect-developer partnership model will create a new standard in housing in the future that pursues design excellence, including sustainability in a cost efficient fashion.”


Department of Housing Preservation and Development
The Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s mission is to promote quality housing and viable neighborhoods for New Yorkers. The department is the nation’s largest municipal housing development agency and is implementing Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan to build and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing over ten years. The New Housing Marketplace Plan is the largest municipal affordable housing effort in the nation’s history. HPD also encourages the preservation of affordable housing through education, outreach, loan programs and enforcement of housing quality standards.


About the AIA New York Chapter
The AIA New York Chapter, the oldest chapter of the American Institute of Architects, is dedicated to three goals: public outreach – engaging and interacting with the public about architecture and the built environment; professional development – helping architects to be the best at what they do; and design excellence – improving the quality of design and advocating environmental conservation and sustainability.