Citing the “distinguished work and high professional standing” achieved by Claire Weisz, FAIA, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) New York Chapter has recognized the co-founder of WXY architecture + urban design with the group’s prestigious Medal of Honor, its highest award to a member for distinction in the profession. Weisz will receive the medal at a ceremony to be held in Lower Manhattan on April 20 during an annual institute fundraising luncheon celebrating design excellence.
The announcement that Weisz will receive the Medal of Honor coincided with news that partner and co-founder Mark Yoes has been elevated to Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, the national group’s highest honor recognizing “exceptional work and lasting contributions to architecture and society.”
Claire Weisz, an influential architect and urbanist who is also a Fellow of the AIA, works with her partners Yoes, Adam Lubinsky and Layng Pew on creating innovative approaches to public space, structures, and cities. The firm works at all scales -- from street furniture to civic buildings, master plans, city parks and coastal resiliency designs -- garnering recognition from groups including the Architectural League of New York, the AIA, and the American Planning Association.
“We are delighted to be able to present to Claire the 2018 Medal of Honor, our chapter’s highest level of recognition, for her ongoing career of distinguished work, and her immense contributions to public and civic space in New York,” says Benjamin Prosky, Assoc. AIA, executive director of the AIA New York Chapter and the Center for Architecture.
Since cofounding the firm WXY architecture + urban design in 1992, Weisz has been awarded a number of prestigious honors, including selection as one of the Architectural League’s Emerging Voices practices in 2011 and inclusion in Fast Company Magazine’s 2017 list of Most Creative People. In 2016, WXY architecture + urban design was honored as the recipient of AIA New York State’s Firm of the Year Award for its impressive body of work.
Weisz has been invited to serve in the prominent role of juror for the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP), given by the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) to the most distinguished works of architecture by emerging architects in the Americas.
“We’ve been fortunate to take on such a diverse array of projects that have a real impact on life in our cities, working with a multidisciplinary and diverse team of varied talents, cultures and perspectives,” says Weisz. “I believe this has been the key to solving some of our most pressing challenges. It is heartening that this collaborative work is being recognized, especially with the Medal of Honor, which has recognized the growing influence of women in architecture two years in a row now.”
Design laurels for the firm in recent months include a coveted National AIA Honor award and the AIA’s Top Ten COTE sustainability citation for the Spring Street Garage and Salt Shed in Manhattan, designed by Dattner Architects in association with WXY architecture + urban design, which the selection jury called “an iconic structure” and “a dignified example of vital civic architecture.”
Other project honors have included the QUAD State Design Award for the Rockaway Boardwalks Reconstruction, and national design wins from the Society of American Registered Architects (SARA) for two buildings — the SeaGlass Carousel in the Battery and the Spring Street Garage and Salt Shed — as well as state honors for the Brooklyn Strand Action Plan and an NYCxDesign urban landscape award for the recent reconstruction of Astor Place and Cooper Square.
Recent and ongoing projects by WXY architecture + urban design include a new pedestrian bridge in Lower Manhattan, a master plan and expansion strategy for the Brooklyn Navy Yard, reimagined public spaces for the Brooklyn Army Terminal complex and the Made in NY Manufacturing Campus at Bush Terminal, and the highly anticipated redevelopment of the former Spofford Juvenile Detention Center into a mixed-use campus with 740 units of affordable housing, called The Peninsula.
In addition, WXY has designed award-winning schools, artist and coworking spaces, and museums including The Drawing Center and the Bronx Music Heritage Center. The firm’s public buildings include an EMS ambulance facility in the Bronx and popular recreational buildings in Hudson River Park.