New York design competition looks to shed the sidewalk shed

New York, which has nearly 200 total miles of sidewalk sheds, is seeking a concept that is practical but that also looks good.

July 20, 2015 |
New York contest looks to shed the sidewalk shed

Photo: Sidewalk shed in Licnoln Square, Manhattan, New York. Billie Ward, Creative Commons.

Pedestrians are all too aware of sidewalk sheds, the makeshift plywood, sheet metal, and concrete scaffolding tunnels that shield city street walkers from debris from nearby construction projects. While the sheds are functional enough, New York believes they can be aesthetically pleasing, too.

Curbed NY reports that the New York Building Congress will hold a competition where architects and other professionals in the construction industry will submit proposals for alternative sidewalk shed designs. New York, which has nearly 200 total miles of sidewalk sheds, is seeking a concept that is practical but that also looks good.

"In the course of their daily lives, millions of New Yorkers are forced to encounter sidewalk sheds that can best be describe as dark, constrictive, and forbidding. It's time we stopped treating their design as an afterthought," Tom Scarangello, Chairman of the New York Building Congress, said in a statement.

The number of permits for sidewalk sheds in New York rose 25% from 2009 to 2014, and some sheds could stay up for several years whether construction is occurring or not. Local businesses have also been negatively affected by the sheds, and it turns out the structures aren't always safe.

The contest's four winners will be announced in September, and they will receive $10,000.

Overlay Init