Brooklyn projects top MAS Design Awards
It’s an exciting time to work in architecture and design – but especially so if you’re in Brooklyn. That’s why it comes as no surprise that seven of the nine recipients of this year’s Municipal Arts Society of New York MASterworks Awards are borough locals – with one of them right here in Downtown Brooklyn.
BRIC Arts | Media House and UrbanGlass, which together occupy 63,000 square feet of space at 647 Fulton Street, received the Neighborhood Catalyst award for helping to reinvigorate the former home of the Strand Theater. The City-funded project which opened last October contains two major performance spaces, a dramatic and expansive art gallery, four television studios, a media center, a public lobby designed as a public gathering space that features a café and a 50-foot wide stoop with seating for 100, as well as glass-blowing studios and a gallery for UrbanGlass.
“Over 75,000 people from Brooklyn and the surrounding boroughs have walked through the doors of BRIC House for a myriad of culture and arts programming since we opened last year,” said Leslie Schultz, President of BRIC. “We are thrilled to see the design vision of Thomas Leeser Architects recognized as a great neighborhood catalyst, a recognition given in previous years to monumental projects such as the High Line and Barclays Center.”
Since 1988, the Municipal Arts Society has been recognizing excellence among urban developments in a variety of categories each year, such as Best New Building, Best Historical Restoration, and Best Green Design Initiative. Previous winners have included beloved modern architectural feats like the High Line, Jane’s Carousel, and Barclays Center.
This year’s other winners in Brooklyn included the Weeksville Heritage Center, which took home top honors as Best New Building. The African-American institution provides a historical museum, plus exhibition and performances spaces. Other Brooklyn honorees included Greenpoint’s Eberhard Faber Pencil Factory for Best Restoration, The LeFrak Center at Lakeside for Best Urban Amenity, Brooklyn Bridge Park for Best Urban Landscape, and in a tie for Best Green Design Initiative, two Brooklyn public schools – the Edible Schoolyard at Gravesend’s P.S. 216 and the P.S. 261 School and Community Playground in Boerum Hill. The remaining two awards went to buildings in the Bronx and Queens.
“The 2014 MASterworks winners strike a great balance between groundbreaking design and historic preservation,” said MAS President, Vin Cipolla. “We are thrilled that all the winners this year are in the outer boroughs, proving that design excellence is happening throughout the city.”
The MASterworks Awards ceremony will take place on Thursday, July 31 from 6 to 8pm at Steelcase (4 Columbus Circle). Tickets are open to the public and cost $50 each or $25 for MAS members. To reserve your seat, visit the MAS website.