July 16, 2015
By Stephanie West
New York, NY – The New York Building Congress has announced it is launching a competition inviting the City’s leading architects, engineers, and construction professionals to design a more aesthetically-pleasing alternative to the sidewalk sheds that currently cover nearly 200 miles of sidewalks throughout the five boroughs.
“While New York City’s sidewalk sheds have served the practical function of protecting pedestrians from construction taking place right over their heads, they have failed miserably in terms of their impact on New Yorkers’ quality of life,” said Frank J. Sciame, Jr., who is chairing the sidewalk shed competition committee. “Our goal is to come up with fresh ideas on how to create a thoughtful and more visually appealing sidewalk shed.”
The goal of the competition is to leverage the expertise and innovation of the building industry to develop shed design concepts that are practical and nice to view. The competition is intended as a continuation of an effort that began with the New York City Department of Building’s 2009 urbanSHED design initiative. Entrants are being asked to submit one conceptual or schematic design representing a buildable construction shed, which will be evaluated by a competition committee of industry experts based on aesthetics and constructability. While sheds are erected to protect the public from the weather, they should be designed to enhance the aesthetic of New York City streets and neighborhoods.
Building Congress President Richard T. Anderson said, “We believe we can come up with a cost-effective way to design, erect, and maintain sheds that are more aesthetically pleasing and every bit as functional as what we use today. We hope and expect that this competition of ideas proves us right.”