Yesterday, 6sqft took a closer look at the Department of Design and Construction’s Design Excellence program, a city initiative where high-profile architects design public facilities, and the fact that many of these projects are long delayed and way over budget.
The Rafael Vinoly-designed NYPD station house on Staten Island known as “The Stapler” is perhaps the worst offender: Its original cost was projected as $3 million, but when it opened in 2013 this rose to a whopping $73 million. Another station house, this one for the 40th Precinct in the Bronx, was designed by of-the-moment architect Bjarke Ingels and will cost around $50 million. On top of these hefty price tags, the architects receive equally hefty fees. Vinoly, for example, was paid $4.5 million for his Stapler design.
The idea that public projects can also be beautifully designed is a great one, but is it worth it to drain taxpayer dollars?
Lead image: Rendering of the now-built 121st Precinct station house by Rafael Vinoly. Poll images: Bjarke Ingels’ design for the 40th Precinct station house (L); Steven Holl’s design for the Queens West Library in Hunters Point (R)