Preservationists Laud Floating Pool, Times Building, Among Other Places

The Municipal Art Society hath spoken.

More precisely, the organization’s MASterwork Awards Committee — with hotshots like Jerry Speyer (Tishman Speyer), John Belle ( Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners), Rick Bell (AIA New York Chapter), Gregg Pasquarelli (SHoP Architects), and Judith Saltzman, (Li/Saltzman Architects) — hath spoken, selecting the best examples of urban architecture and planning in New York City from 2007. The awards will be presented at the IAC Building tomorrow evening.

And the winners are…pretty much what you might expect (which, of course, doesn’t make them any less worthy).

Without further blather, here’s a rundown of the winners:

Renzo Piano’s New York Times Building and Frank Gehry’s IAC Building won for best new buildings of 2007, according to the Municipal Art Society,

Other awesome architectural projects, as per MAS, included The Diane von Furstenberg (DVF) Studio Headquarters and the Museum at Eldridge Street for Best Historic Restorations, both of won the award for best historic restoration; and Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Floating Pool and the New Museum of Contemporary Art, which won for outstanding neighborhood catalysts.

The full release is below:





Gehry-designed IAC Building and Piano’s New York Times Building


Are ‘Best New Buildings’



The Municipal Art Society of New York, a non-profit membership organization that promotes a more livable city, has announced the winners of the seventh annual MASterwork Awards, naming Renzo Piano’s New York Times Building and Frank Gehry’s IAC Building as Best New Buildings.

The MASterwork Awards, launched in 2001 to recognize excellence in architecture and urban design, are organized annually by the MAS and sponsored by Helaba, Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen, the international banking and investment group. The six awards presented this year are for projects completed in 2007.

“The MASterwork Awards enable us to champion distinctive architecture and design, and to honor those who have enhanced New York City,” MAS Chairman Philip Howard said. “Our winners have distinguished themselves with superior work and we are pleased to recognize their contributions to New York’s built environment.”

The other awards went to the Diane von Furstenberg (DVF) Studio Headquarters and the Museum at Eldridge Street for Best Historic Restorations and to the Floating Pool and the New Museum of Contemporary Art for Outstanding Neighborhood Catalysts.

Nominations were reviewed by a distinguished committee which included Jerry Speyer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Tishman Speyer, John Belle, FAIA, RIBA, Hon. PhD, founding partner of Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners, Rick Bell, FAIA, Executive Director of the AIA New York Chapter; Gregg Pasquarelli, partner in SHoP Architects; and Judith Saltzman, partner in Li/Saltzman Architects.

Awards Committee member Jerry Speyer noted, “Our awards committee had an extremely animated exchange. There was great diversity among the submissions, so this was a very tough choice, and that, in and of itself, is a great thing for New York. The IAC Building’s sculptural metaphor of white sails on the Hudson is an exceptional addition to the New York City skyline,” he said.

Rick Bell contrasted the IAC Building with The New York Times Building, which he said “sets a new standard for commercial office towers in sustainability and transparency. The broad range of projects this year shows that New York allows for enormous creativity in architecture,” he continued.

Gregg Pasquarelli, Partner in SHoP architects agreed. “What I found most invigorating about this process was the chance to see a wide range of projects. The different practices involved in meticulously restoring a historical masterpiece like the Eldridge Street Synagogue and revamping meatpacking warehouses into a fashion studio equipped with cutting edge green-building technology merit their individual recognition.”

The Awards Committee was particularly pleased with the winning neighborhood catalysts. “The New Museum of Contemporary Art is an exciting addition to the Bowery,” said Judith Saltzman, “more a downtown gallery feel than a museum. And you know, for such an innovative shape and skin, it was built on a relatively small budget. Whether the shape will be loved 30 years from now, who knows. It may be what the Whitney Museum is to us today.”

John Belle was most enthusiastic about the Floating Pool Lady, which also won for Best Neighborhood Catalyst. “It’s brilliant!” he said, “not only does it pay tribute to New York City’s historical ‘floating baths,’ it brings New Yorkers onto our vastly underused waterways.”

Helaba, known formally as Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen, is an international public sector and commercial wholesale bank with headquarters in Germany. Through Helaba New York, the bank provides real estate financing throughout the United States for large residential and commercial projects.

The Municipal Art Society of New York is a private, non-profit membership organization whose mission is to promote a more livable city. Since 1893, the organization has worked to enrich the culture, neighborhoods and physical design of New York City. It advocates for excellence in urban design and planning, contemporary architecture, historic preservation and public art. For more information, please visit For more information about The Campaign for a Grand Moynihan Station, visit

MASterwork Award Winners

Best New Building

New York Times Building

The New York Times Building sets new standards in innovative green technology and public space for commercial office towers. Developer: Forest City Ratner Companies; Architects: Renzo Piano Building Workshop in association with FXFOWLE; Interiors Architect: Gensler

IAC Building

Frank Gehry’s vision of billowing white sails along the Hudson River, manifest in the IAC Building, is a beacon for the architectural renaissance of the West Chelsea waterfront area. Developer: The Georgetown Company; Design Architect: Gehry Partners, LLC; Executive Architect, Base Building: Adamson Associates; Interior Architect: STUDIOS Architecture


Best Historic Restoration

Diane von Furstenberg (DVF) Studio Headquarters

The new DVF Studio Headquarters retains two late 19th century buildings that leant the Meatpacking District its name, restoring the façades and cast-iron columns of the buildings. Developer: Diane Von Furstenberg Studio; Architect: WORK Architecture Company;

Museum at Eldridge Street

Expert craftsmen took painstaking care to restore this severely deteriorated late 19th century synagogue into a museum that reveals its original design and function while preserving the effects of time. Developer: Museum at Eldridge Street (Eldridge Street Project); Architect: Walter Sedovic Architects; Structural Engineer: Robert Silman Associates, PC;

Neighborhood Catalyst

The Floating Pool

Built within an existing barge, the Floating Pool made a big splash during its premier last summer at Brooklyn Bridge Park, drawing in visitors from the borough and beyond. Developer: Neptune Foundation; Architect: Jonathan Kirschenfeld Associates

The New Museum

The New Museum is both the anchor and catalyst for the burgeoning contemporary art scene on the Lower East Side, stamping a new shape on the Bowery skyline. Developer: The New Museum; Architects: SANAA; Principals: Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa; Chief Project Architect: Florian Idenburg; Executive Architect: Gensler, New York


  Preservationists Laud Floating Pool, Times Building, Among Other Places