2012 MASterworks Awards Recognize Excellence in Architecture and Urban Design
Six provocative and innovative architecture and urban design projects have been chosen as winners of The Municipal Art Society of New York’s 2012 MASterworks Awards. New York by Gehry at 8 Spruce Street (Gehry & Partners for Forest City Ratner) has won the top honor, “Best New Building,” while “Best Restoration" goes to New York City Center (Ennead Architects). “Best Neighborhood Catalyst” awards were given to the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College (Cooper, Robertson & Partners) and the Queens Central Library: Children's Library Discovery Center (1100 Architect with Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership), with an honorable mention going to El Museo Del Barrio (Gruzen Samton). A new category, “Best New Urban Amenity,” was created for Ateliers Jean Nouvel’s Jane’s Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
The MASterworks Awards, organized annually by the Municipal Art Society, recognize projects completed in the preceding year that both exemplify excellence in architecture and urban design and that make a significant contribution to New York’s built environment.
An impressive pool of nominees made the evaluation process especially challenging for this year's jury, which comprised architects Brandon Haw (Foster + Partners), Claire Weisz (WXY Architecture + Urban Design) and Adam Yarinsky (Architecture Research Office); journalist Suzanne Stephens (Architectural Record); and MAS president Vin Cipolla. Said Municipal Art Society President Vin Cipolla: “From a carousel in Brooklyn to a cultural landmark in midtown to a school in East Harlem, the 2012 MASterworks winners are design assets to our city that contribute greatly to the urban landscape. MAS congratulates all of the winning design teams for their visionary ideas and commitment excellence, and we thank them for enhancing New York City, one building at a time.”
The MASterworks winners will be feted at the 2012 MAS Summit for New York City, on October 18.
The 2012 MASterworks Awards are presented in four categories:
BEST NEW BUILDING
New York by Gehry at 8 Spruce Street (Architect—Gehry & Partners; Developer—Forest City Ratner Companies) is the tallest residential tower in North America and the first designed by Frank Gehry. In naming this project “Best New Building,” the MASterworks jury noted this soaring tower with its dynamic façade, a striking symbol of Lower Manhattan’s resurgence within the context of the neighborhood, and a dramatic and inspiring addition to the New York City skyline.
Ennead Architects’ transformation of New York City Center, the iconic performing arts venue, breathed new life into what had become a dark and worn out space. The stunning renovation and beautifully restored interiors enhance the visitor experience by modernizing the amenities while at the same time resolving a number of functional shortcomings.
In diminishing the boundary between exterior and interior, two winners of the “Best Neighborhood Catalyst” award, and the project receiving an honorable mention, reach out to the communities in which they reside and effectively enliven street level activity.
Cooper, Robertson & Partners’ open, welcoming design for East Harlem’s Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College engages a neighborhood undergoing significant change by making what is happening inside the building visible to passers‐by.
Similarly, the Queens Central Library: Children's Library Discovery Center, designed by1100 Architect with environmental graphics and sculptural iconography by Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership, takes advantage of its street exposure to create a dialogue between interior and exterior. The glowing glass façade and large windows that allow natural light to flood the inside create a beacon for the neighborhood.
El Museo Del Barrio’s reconfigured courtyard (Gruzen Samton), which receives an honorable mention, brings the museum’s activities from its adaptively renovated interior spaces out into the street, creating a new source of outdoor life along Upper Fifth Avenue.
BEST NEW URBAN AMENITY
This new category recognizes a unique addition to New York City’s built environment and resident experience. Ateliers Jean Nouvel's Jane's Carousel (created for Two Trees Management Company), is a jewel in Brooklyn Bridge Park and a spectacular new destination for New Yorkers and visitors alike.
The Municipal Art Society of New York, founded in 1893, is a non‐profit membership organization committed to making New York a more livable city through education, dialogue and advocacy for intelligent urban planning, design and preservation. For more information visit MAS.org.
CONTACT: Alix Friedman
Linden Alschuler & Kaplan
Mailing Address: 334 Furman Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
tel: (718) 222-9939
fax: (718) 222-9258