DDC Picks Firms to Design Future Public Building Projects

Brooklyn’s Rescue Co. #2, seen above, is a firehouse that opened in 2019 as part of a past Project Excellence contract. Image Credit: NYC DDC.

Projects will be awarded to the selected firms on a rotating basis. On March 16, 2022, the Department of Design and Construction (DDC) announced the selection of twenty firms the agency has contracted with for architectural design services for future public building projects. The firms were selected as part of the Project Excellence Program. The Project Excellence Program pre-qualifies firms to provide design services for public building projects to ensure high quality while saving time on the procurement process. The previous round of the program expired in 2021.

As the DDC is the City’s construction management agency, it oversees the construction of public buildings like firehouses, libraries, recreation centers, museums, community health centers and other facilities. The Public Buildings Division within the agency works with over 20 municipal agencies and many cultural institutions that receive City funding. Through the Project Excellence Program, the DDC will contract with the twenty firms for up to three years for architectural design services for public building projects, which include new construction projects and major renovations, and up to ten firms for technical design services. Technical design services can include historic preservation, structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, envelope, roof, and landscape design. 

The twenty selected firms were categorized based on the size of their professional staff. Five small firms, with a professional staff size of five to twenty people, were selected to receive projects ranging in estimated construction costs from $100,000 to $10,000,000. Ten medium firms, with professional staff sizes between 21 to 50 people, will receive projects between $10,000,001 to $50,000,000. Five large firms, with more than 50 professional staff, will receive projects between $50,000,001 up to $200,000,000. Of the firms selected, ten are certified Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs). 

The following firms were selected: 

Small Firms

Verona Carpenter Architects (WBE)


Shakespeare Gordon Vlado Architects (WBE)

Ricardo Zurita Architecture & Planning (MBE)

Murphy Burnham & Buttrick Architects (WBE)


Medium Firms

Selldorf Architects (WBE)

R2 Architecture (Ronnette Riley Architect/Ross Barney Architects JV) (WBE)

ikon.5 architects

Leroy Street Studio

BKSK Architects

ROGERS PARTNERS Architects+Urban Designers

Allied Works Architecture



PBDW Architects


Large Firms

Studio Gang (WBE)

SHoP Architects

Marvel (MBE)



Projects will be awarded to these firms on a rotating basis, and all contracts will be architect prime contracts. Subconsultants will be defined after the contract award. Changes to the program include changes made to the pay structure to allow for fairer compensation practices, including billing time on a time card spent on projects instead of using a percentage of the fee curve, and an hourly pay rate equal to direct salary reimbursement for all time card services. The fee structure also better reflects the more demanding environment in which this round of public buildings will be created. 

DDC Commissioner Thomas Foley stated, “The firms selected for Project Excellence went through a rigorous review process to ensure they can deliver inspirational and functional designs using sustainable and durable materials that can be built on time and on budget. This is an extraordinary moment in the City’s history, and we’ve restructured Project Excellence to make it more beneficial for our design firms so they can truly commit to executing the best designs that will serve the most New Yorkers in the best way. We are very pleased that half of the firms who will design the City’s public buildings are certified M/WBEs. DDC builds in every part of the City and we have always sought firms that can create culturally sensitive projects which best serve the people who use them. Congratulations to all the firms that were selected for architectural design. We anticipate announcing soon the firms that will provide technical design services for the next generation of projects.”

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)



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