POLL: Should the City Spend Money and Time Hiring Starchitects for Public Projects?

Posted On Wed, March 2, 2016 By

Posted On Wed, March 2, 2016 By In Policy, Polls, Starchitecture

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)

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