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Construction & Design

Architects weigh in on new proposal to replace Port Authority bus terminal

In order to provide Greater New York with an optimally designed structure to replace the aging Port Authority Bus Terminal on Manhattan’s West 42nd Street, AIA New Jersey, AIA New York and AIA New York State collaborated with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to refine the architectural design competition for their new bus terminal.

The changes allow for more equitable compensation and protection of intellectual property rights for architects submitting designs for the new terminal.

“The Port Authority’s 66-year old structure is a transit hub for more than 200,000 daily commuters, and we wanted to ensure that the monumental task of designing a replacement terminal would be guided by industry best practices,” said Justin Mihalik, AIA, president of AIA New Jersey.

“Through a dialogue-driven collaboration between the Port Authority and the New York City, New York State and New Jersey chapters of the AIA, we were ultimately able to work together to create a better design competition that will provide the Port Authority with a higher number and caliber of design submissions.”

The competition enhancements included an extension of the submission deadline to better reflect the complexity of the project, stronger intellectual property protection for submitted designs, and the addition of honorariums for each of the five entries that advance to the second stage.

The Port Authority adopted the changes suggested by AIA chapters less than a week after they were presented.
“Our successful recalibration of the design competition clearly illustrates how the public can benefit when various entities engage in open dialogue,” added Mihalik.

“Led by the New York and New York State chapters of the AIA, we communicated to the Port Authority the best practices laid out by the AIA’s 2011 Handbook of Architectural Design Competition, and explained how adopting these guidelines would ultimately improve the quality of the new terminal’s design. We’re grateful that the Port Authority was open to working with us to improve the competition and that they were able to improve the conditions on a very short timetable.”

This collaboration between AIA chapters comes on the heels of several other successful multi-chapter initiatives. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the organization’s New Jersey, New York State, New York City, Connecticut and Rhode Island chapters organized the AIA Regional Recovery Working Group, which coordinated workshops on storm preparedness and resiliency.

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