Every year, AIA New York honors various architecture, interior design, and urban planning projects at its Design Awards, and for the 2016 edition, more than half of the winners were New York City-based developments. Some of the honorees were big-name, big-hype projects (hello, Whitney Museum), while others serve more quotidian purposes: a school, a salt shed, or a multi-generational home. What they all share, though, was a shared commitment to "design quality, response to its context and community, program resolution, innovation, thoughtfulness, and technique." Here, we've focused on architecture rather than interior design; check out some of the winners below:
Honor Awards, Architecture:
↑ The Spring Street Salt Shed, which became functional earlier this year, was designed by Dattner Architects and WXY architecture, and abuts the similarly design-focused DSNY garage. The inspiration for the building was—of course—a grain of salt.
↑ Marvel Architects oversaw the restoration and reopening of St. Ann's Warehouse on the Brooklyn waterfront. Marvel's renovation preserves the Tobbaco Warehouse as relic by floating a new structure inside of its walls; the result is a theater that can transform its footprint to serve the needs of its resident company.
↑ Carmel Place, NYC's first all-micro-unit building, was designed by nArchitects as part of the MyMicroNY competition. Three years after the firm was picked to design the structure—which will have 55 apartments, none of which are larger than 350 square feet—the building will welcome its first residents this year.
↑ David Zwirner's new Chelsea gallery, located on West 20th Street, was purpose-designed by Annabelle Selldorf's firm for massive contemporary pieces—the gallery, which measures 30,000 square feet, is meant to showcase contemporary artworks.
↑ Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects reimagined the old Prospect Park ice-skating rink as a multi-purpose, year-round destination, with the ability to transform from an ice rink to a roller rink in warmer weather. The architects also sought to restore the space, at the southeastern edge of the park, to Olmsted and Vaux's original 19th-century vision.
Merit Awards, Architecture:
↑ David Adjaye's boxy, cantilevered design for an affordable housing development in Harlem hasn't been without controversy—some Harlemites called it a "modernist, high-rise gash" when it was built. But the gray cubes stood out enough for AIA's judges, at least.
↑ Murphy, Burnham & Buttrick's design for PS 330Q in Flushing, Queens, incorporates plenty of design elements that give the school a light, less institutional feel: large windows, wooden beams, art hanging in the library, and a glass-enclosed "gymatorium" that serves multiple purposes.
↑ Murphy, Burnham & Buttrick is also behind the $175 million restoration of the iconic St. Patrick's Cathedral, which began in 2012. The scope of the project was enormous, and involved refreshing the landmark's spires, refinishing its ceiling, and cleaning up the massive bronze front doors.
↑ To create the Choy House in Flushing, Queens, O'Neill Rose Architects had to figure out how to cleverly combine three homes into one on a narrow, New York City-sized lot. The resulting house has separate spaces for the client and his family, his younger brother, and their mother, all without sacrificing space or functionality.
↑ Renzo Piano's High Line-hugging Whitney Museum may not much resemble the museum's old headquarters (Marcel Breuer's Brutalist structure on Madison Avenue, now under the auspices of the Met), but it's a stunning building in its own right. In addition to having flexible galleries—the better to showcase the art—the new institution also has plenty of outdoor space.
↑ The zig-zaggy Mercedes House, designed by TEN Arquitectos, has several functions: It has luxury apartments; there's a Mercedes dealership on the ground floor (hence the name); and there are even stables for the NYPD's fleet of horses in one part of the building.
Projects, Honor Awards:
↑ The fate of 2 World Trade Center may be uncertain after News Corp decided not to move to the building, but that doesn't change the fact that Bjarke Ingels's design for the building was quite thoughtful. It would have a stair-step facade with green balconies at each setback, and a more traditional glassy curtain wall that looks west, toward the Sept. 11 memorial plaza, One World Trade, and the Hudson River.
Projects, Merit Awards:
↑ Kohn Pederson Fox is due to revamp the dark, hulking structure at 390 Madison Avenue and turn it into a much more modern, light-filled building with plenty of outdoor space and amenities; they'll also increase the height slightly.
Urban Design, Honor Award:
↑ For a brief moment this summer, hanging out at Penn Station actually became bearable, thanks to W Architecture and Landscape Architecture's Plaza 33, a temporary public space. The pop-up featured seating, sculptures, and some greenery—and was far prettier than anything else you typically see near NYC's literal worst piece of infrastructure.