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Urban Shed International Design Competition

Re-imagined scaffolding hits the streets of NYC with three finalists’ winning prototypes

by Passa C


Protecting pedestrians from both debris and the rain, NYC construction scaffolding is a major part of the urban landscape yet mostly considered an inconvenient eyesore. With nearly 6,000 sheds spanning more than 1 million linear feet throughout the city, NYC Department of Buildings along with several partners challenged designers to re-think these sheds with the Urban Shed International Design Competition.


The team of nine judges—including Snøhetta director Craig Dykers (the architecture and design studio spearheading NYC’s National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion) and NYC Department and Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri—recently selected the three finalists who will advance to Stage II of the competition. During this phase each of the three designs will be built and installed on a job site in Lower Manhattan. The selected winner will receive city certification and the design will become industry standard and used for future construction projects.


The new sidewalk sheds will revolutionize the NYC cityscape as well as the pedestrian experience. The winning design should increase light and visibility, complement both commercial and residential facades, intuitively guide pedestrians, use more sustainable materials and make maintenance more economical. To see more of the final three designs and all of the entries, visit Urban Shed.


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