The Architect’s Newspaper

Playgrounds, libraries, and parks are recognized in the New York City Public Design Commission’s Annual Awards for Excellence in Design


A new educational facility at the Queens Botanical Gardens, a Testbeds initiative to adapt an architectural model into public garden space, and public art projects and installations in parks and community buildings across all five boroughs are among the 21 winners of the New York City Public Design Commission’s (PDC) 40th and 41st Annual Awards for Excellence in Design.


The PDC meets monthly to review projects submitted by various New York City agencies to determine whether they benefit the community and should be realized. The group consists of 11 members, including an architect, landscape architect, painter, sculptor, and three lay members, along with representatives from the Brooklyn Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, The New York Public Library, and the Mayor. The committee has selected the winners of the Annual Awards for Excellence in Design since 1983, choosing from the submissions they received in the year prior.

The 21 projects awarded were reviewed by the commission across the 2021 and 2022 cycles. Similar to this year, in the 39th iteration, parks and playgrounds dominated the list. Executive director of the PDC, Sreoshy Banerjea, summarized the winning projects in a statement: “Each awarded project embodies the intrinsic link between design, performance, and functionality, ensuring they not only meet the aesthetic aspirations of our city, but also serve the needs of our diverse neighborhoods.”


“Design excellence goes beyond aesthetics; it’s about creating environments that promote equity, sustainability, and social cohesion. It is about ensuring that each borough has access to well-designed public spaces, neighborhood civic buildings, and artwork that inspire every generation,” added Mayor Adams in a statement. “We are here to celebrate projects that break barriers, are performative, and foster a sense of belonging. The winning projects range from powerful memorials that evoke emotion and vital new libraries that are welcoming to all, to safe streets and playgrounds for our youngest New Yorkers and celebratory art that highlights the uniqueness of our city.”

The complete list of the 40th and 41st Annual Awards for Excellence in Design winners is below while more information can be found here.

41st Annual Awards for Excellence in Design Winners

Flexus by Grimanesa Amorós (Courtesy New York City Public Design Commissions)


Flexus by Grimanesa Amorós | Queens
The Harper Street Asphalt Plant facility is used by the Department of Transportation (DOT) to manufacture and store asphalt used on the roadways across the city. Grimanesa Amorós’s installation for the industrial building features a programmed lighting sequence that bathes the structure in varying degrees of brightness and shadow. The work promotes the intersection of art, infrastructure, and sustainability.

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