Henson Architecture

Henson Architecture

New York, NY


2014 MASterworks Awards Recognize Excellence in Architecture and Urban Design

Anna Melendez
Jun 26, '14 5:41 PM EST

2014 MASterworks Awards Recognize Excellence in Architecture and Urban Design

Weeksville Heritage Center is Named “Best New Building”


NEW YORK, NY: June 17, 2014 –Nine innovative architecture and urban design projects have been chosen as winners of The Municipal Art Society of New York’s 2014 MASterworks Awards, with seven of the awards going to projects in Brooklyn. The Weeksville Heritage Center (Caples Jefferson Architects) has won the top honor, “Best New Building,” while “Best Restoration” goes to the Englehardt Addition, Eberhard Faber Pencil Factory (Scott Henson Architect, LLC).  The “Best Neighborhood Catalyst” award will be given to the BRIC Arts Media House & Urban Glass (LEESER Architecture), and “Best New Urban Amenity” will go to LeFrak Center at Lakeside (Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects). Brooklyn Bridge Park (Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.) will be recognized as “Best Urban Landscape.” 

This year’s MASterworks also recognized two new design categories.  “Best Adaptive Reuse” will be awarded to The Queens Museum (Grimshaw Architects) and the NYC DDC Zerega Avenue Emergency Medical Services Building (Smith-Miller and Hawkinson Architects) will take home the award for “Best New Infrastructure.”  Additionally, “Best Green Design Initiative” honors will be given to Edible Schoolyard at P.S. 216 (WORKac) and P.S. 261 School and Community Playground (SiteWorks Landscape Architecturecommissioned by The Trust for Public Land).

The MASterworks Awards, hosted annually by MAS, recognize projects completed in the preceding year that exemplify excellence in architecture and urban design and make a significant contribution to New York’s built environment. 

A large and outstanding pool of nominees made the evaluation process especially challenging for this year’s jury, which included Tommy Craig, Senior Managing Director, Hines Development; Judith DiMaio, Dean, School of Architecture and Design, New York Institute of Technology; Susannah Drake, Principal, DLANDSTUDIO Architecture + Landscape Architure pllc; Kitty Hawks, Kitty Hawks Interior Design and William Menking, Editor-in-Chief, The Architect’s Newspaper.

Said MAS President, Vin Cipolla, “From a historic and nationally significant museum honoring African American heritage to the remarkable transformation of three century-old landmarked buildings into contemporary office space, the 2014 MASterworks winners strike a great balance between groundbreaking design and historic preservation. We are thrilled that all the winners this year are in the outer boroughs, proving that design excellence is happening throughout the city. MAS congratulates all of the winning design teams and thanks them for enhancing New York City, one project at a time.” 

Best New Building – Weeksville Heritage Center (Caples Jefferson Architects)

The Weeksville Heritage Center is a unique urban design project that uses modern architectural syntax with African riffs to create a sweeping gateway to a historic 19th Century African American freedmen’s settlement. With state-of-the art exhibition, performance and educational facilities, and by providing a green oasis for visitors and the local community, the project successfully honors the historic landscape and celebrates the Weeksville Heritage Center’s future.

Best Restoration – Englehardt Addition, Eberhard Faber Pencil Factory (Scott Henson Architect, LLC) 

This solidly comprehensive restoration conserved the Englehardt Addition’s architectural details, contemporary graffiti and masonry flaws, maintaining the essence of the historic property while balancing the pragmatic needs of the modern intervention. The dynamic rehabilitation is a critical contribution to the evolution of Greenpoint, Brooklyn into a modern tech center.

Neighborhood Catalyst – BRIC Arts Media House & Urban Glass (LEESER Architecture

With BRIC Arts Media House & Urban Glass LEESER Architecture has successfully balanced the demanding programmatic needs of two vibrant cultural institutions in Downtown Brooklyn and reinvigorated a historic theater while integrating striking contemporary flairs.

Best Urban Amenity – LeFrak Center at Lakeside (Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects)

As one of the most ambitious public projects in Prospect Park’s history, the LeFrak Center at Lakeside serves the evolving needs of the park’s growing patronage and diverse surrounding neighborhoods while honoring the area’s original design intent. With programming including winter ice skating, summer roller skating and a warm-weather water feature, combined with a restored landscape and vastly improved park access, the LeFrak Center is an extraordinary new destination for the Brooklyn community, New Yorkers, and visitors alike. 

Best Urban Landscape – Brooklyn Bridge Park (Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.)

Brooklyn Bridge Park is a landmark project for New York City, combining decades of large-scale planning and design work. The largest park built in Brooklyn since Prospect Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park contributes to city livability by offering residents a host of new ways to experience and appreciate the urban waterfront. The successful completion of Piers 3 and 4 in 2013 unified the park as a stunning – and cohesive – landscape.

Best Adaptive Reuse – The Queens Museum (Grimshaw Architects)

Grimshaw Architects have adapted the New York City Pavilion, a World’s Fair relic in Queens’ Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, into an arresting building that honors the original hangar-like structure while embodying The Queens Museum’s philosophy of openness and community engagement.

Best New Infrastructure – NYC DDC Zerega Avenue Emergency Medical Services Building (Smith-Miller and Hawkinson Architects)

Located in an underserved neighborhood in the Bronx, this newly constructed ambulance dispatch and maintenance facility brings greatly needed emergency services to the community utilizing an environmentally conscious and decidedly optimistic design.

Best Green Design Initiatives – Edible Schoolyard at P.S. 216 (WORKac)

The Edible Schoolyard at P.S. 216 uses thoughtful design to help cultivate students’ relationships with healthy eating and increase food access in Gravesend, Brooklyn. The half-acre block has become an active community amenity with year-round programming.

and P.S. 261 School and Community Playground (SiteWorks Landscape Architecture, commissioned by The Trust for Public Land).

Serving as a model for sustainable playgrounds in urban environments, P.S. 261 School and Community Playground incorporates active and passive recreation features into a compact landscape. The site manages storm water runoff and increases much needed accessibility to green space within the Gowanus Canal watershed.


The 2014 MASterworks Awards are sponsored by Steelcase and the awards ceremony will be held in their space at 4 Columbus Circle on July 31st from 6-8pmTickets include drinks and light fare and will be $50/$25 for MAS Members.  Please visit for more information or contact Stacey Anderson at or (212) 935 3960, ext. 1232.



ABOUT THE MUNICIPAL ART SOCIETY OF NEW YORK: The Municipal Art Society is New York’s leading organization dedicated to creating a more livable city. For 120 years, MAS—a nonprofit membership organization—has been committed to promoting New York City’s economic vitality, cultural vibrancy, environmental sustainability and social diversity. Working to protect the best of New York’s existing landscape, from landmarks and historic districts to public open spaces, MAS encourages visionary design, planning and architecture that promote resilience and the livability of New York. For more information, visit