Press Releases

June 25, 2014

AIANY ENYA's 2014 Biennial Design Ideas Competition Exhibition QueensWay Connection: Elevating the Public Realm Opens July 17, 2014

NEW YORK, New York, June 25, 2014 – The Emerging New York Architects (ENYA) committee of the AIA New York Chapter is pleased to announce the opening of its sixth biennial design ideas competition exhibition, QueensWay Connection: Elevating the Public Realm on Thursday July 17 at 6:00 PM at the Center for Architecture. The exhibition showcases winners of the 2014 ENYA Biennial Design Ideas Competition, which challenged entrants to design a vertical gateway for the elevated viaduct portion of a 3.5 mile stretch of abandoned railway in Central Queens. The QueensWay is currently under study for conversion into an urban greenway by The Trust for Public Land, Friends of the Queensway, and their design consultants. Four Prize Winners, one Honorable Mention, and a slide show of the 120 entries from 28 countries will be shown, along with progress and background information on the community development process. The exhibition is presented as part of the 2014 AIA New York Chapter Presidential Theme “Civic Spirit: Civic Vision.”

ENYA will also host a symposium at the Center for Architecture on Saturday, July 19 from 12:00 - 4:00 PM to highlight the winning entries’ visions for future development of the site and neighborhood.

The Competition
Formerly a portion of the Long Island Railroad’s Rockaway Beach Branch, the QueensWay was abandoned in 1962. Design consultants retained by the Trust for Public Land and Friends of the QueensWay are currently studying how to transform a stretch of this industrial relic into a public green space that would connect a series of diverse neighborhoods currently fragmented by major roadways and railways. A conversion would also improve pedestrian and bicycle access to Forest Park, which lies in the middle of the abandoned rail line. The goal of the 2014 ENYA Competition QueensWay Connection: Elevating the Public Realm was to support and inspire this transformation.

QueensWay Connection garnered 120 entries from 28 countries. Four winning entries and one Honorable Mention were selected by a distinguished jury which included experts in architecture, landscape architecture, public space, transportation infrastructure, and other related fields. Jurors evaluated each proposal based on the design’s ability to provide an effective and welcoming transition between the street and future greenway. Additional credit was given to how creatively and effectively entrants programmed the space to encourage community involvement, the economical use of the existing infrastructure, and the incorporation of ecologically sustainable elements.

Although QueensWay Connection is a design ideas competition rather than a design-build competition, the potential redevelopment of the Queensway into a greenway is a reality. ENYA believes that engaging the local community and empowering community members to take ownership of the disused infrastructure is key to a successful redevelopment of the QueensWay. We hope that these ideas will serve as catalysts for the incremental redevelopment of the railway.

ENYA Prize, $5000
The Queensway Steps

Carrie Wilbert and Eleonore Levieux of Paris, France


2nd Prize, $2500
Queens Billboard

Nikolay Martynov of Basel, Switzerland

3rd Prize, $1000
Make It! Grow It!

Song Deng and Rene Biberstein of Toronto, Canada

Student Prize, $1000
EBB & Flow

Jessica Shoemaker, Paul Crespo and Jessica Johnson of Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

Honorable Mention
Upside Down Bridge

Hyuntek Yoon of Queens, New York, USA

The jury convened on January 18, 2014 at the Center for Architecture. An exhibition of these proposals and other exemplary entries will be unveiled at an opening party on July 17, 2014 at the Center for Architecture. A symposium on Saturday, July 19 from 12:00 – 4:00 PM will include an overview of the competition process, presentations from the winners, and a moderated discussion on the jury deliberation and the process of community outreach for public projects.

Claire Weisz, FAIA, Co-founding Partner, WXY (part of the QueensWay feasibility study team)
Lisa Switkin, Associate Partner and Managing Director, James Corner Field Operations
Matthew Johnson, Senior Associate and Project Manager of the High Line project, Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Margaret Newman, FAIA, LEED AP, former Chief of Staff to the Commissioner of the NYC Department of Transportation
Ting Chin, Co-founder, Linearscape (2012 ENYA prize winners)
Susan Chin, FAIA, Executive Director, Design Trust for Public Space
Frank Lupo, FAIA, Steering Committee Member, Friends of the QueensWay
Andy Stone, New York City Director, The Trust for Public Land

The competition and exhibition are made possible thanks to the generous support of:

ABC Imaging

Ennead Architects
Lutron Electronics

Media Sponsors

About the ENYA Biennial Design Ideas Competition Program
The ENYA Biennial Design Ideas Competition Program endeavors to broaden the scope of architectural discourse by posing a design challenge grounded in the context of New York City and encouraging both local and international emerging designers to participate.

The program aims to:
• Challenge emerging designers to explore their own design sensibilities while tackling complex urban challenges
• Partner with non-profit, governmental, and community organizations that embody historical, environmental, and social awareness
• Provide a platform for designers to impact and discuss community development
• Positively impact a New York City community and inspire increased community activism
• Provoke continued political and/or architectural discourse

ENYA Biennial Design Ideas Competition Program activities extend beyond the competition itself to include exhibitions, community workshops, and a publication.

About the AIANY Emerging New York Architects Committee
It is the goal of the AIANY Emerging New York Architects Committee to encourage membership, participation, and AIANY leadership among intern architects, young architects (licensed 10 years or less), and emerging professionals in the fields of design and construction. The committee engages NYC’s diverse emerging design professionals through lectures, design competitions, and networking opportunities, with a focus on professional development, design excellence, and public outreach.

About the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter
AIA New York is the oldest and largest chapter of the American Institute of Architects, with over 5,000 architects, allied professionals, students and public members. AIANY is dedicated to three goals: design excellence, public outreach, and professional development. Towards these aims, AIANY runs the Center for Architecture, a storefront exhibition space in Greenwich Village, sponsors public programs, publishes a magazine, and works with its charitable affiliate, the Center for Architecture Foundation, to provide scholarship and educational opportunities. For more information on AIA New York, please visit

About the Center for Architecture
The Center for Architecture is a destination for all interested in the built environment. It is home to the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter and the Center for Architecture Foundation, vibrant nonprofit organizations that provide resources to both the public and building industry professionals. Through exhibitions, programs, and special events, the Center aims to improve the quality and sustainability of the built environment, foster exchange between the design, construction, and real estate communities, and encourage collaborations across the city and globe. http:/

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