Small architecture firms vie for city contracts

From left: Department of Design and Construction Commissioner David Burney and a security booth at MetroTech
From left: Department of Design and Construction Commissioner David Burney and a security booth at MetroTech

Architecture firms are now clamoring to work on municipal projects, as part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Design and Construction Excellence program, the Wall Street Journal reported. Just last week, a total of 189 companies seeking work from the city program applied to secure one of 20 spots for smaller firms. Finalists will receive projects that cost less than $15 million and six larger firms will get projects worth between $15 million and $50 million.

The program aims to bring traditionally mundane municipal design in line with the architecture that surrounds it. “We’re sort of like a dating agency,” David Burney, the Department of Design and Construction’s commissioner, told the Journal. “We’re trying to match the right architects with the right projects.”

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The sleek security booths at MetroTech Center in Brooklyn by WXY Architecture, and a stylized 22,000-square-foot children’s center next to the main branch of the Queens Public Library by 1100 Architect, both completed last year, have been among the Design and Construction Excellence projects. [WSJ] — Zachary Kussin