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Among MASterwork Winners, Adaptive Reuse is Common Theme

The bold, new Hearst Tower and the GM Building’s superbly redesigned Fifth Avenue Plaza, both in Midtown, have won 2007 MASterworks Awards. The skillful restoration of the Battery Maritime Building in Lower Manhattan and Red Hook’s new Fairway Market also took top honors. The awards were presented on May 9 at the GM Building’s plaza.

“Each of these distinctive projects gives New Yorkers something new to be proud of,” MAS Chairman Philip Howard said. “But at a time when the city is seeing an astonishing amount of new development and construction, it is worth noting that each of this year’s winners — albeit in very different ways — paid attention to the precepts of adaptive reuse.”

Launched in 2001 to recognize the best of the city’s new architecture and design, the awards are organized annually by the MAS and sponsored by Helaba, an international commercial bank. The four awards presented this year are for projects completed in 2006. The sixth annual MASterwork Award winners are:

hearst tower looking up

Photo: Nigel Y

Best New Building: The Hearst Tower, 300 West 57th Street in Midtown. William Randolph Hearst had always envisioned a soaring office tower atop his landmark 1928 Art Deco headquarters building. Lord Norman Foster, drawing on the approach he developed for his acclaimed Reichstag restoration in Berlin, succeeded brilliantly in fulfilling Hearst’s vision with a tower that establishes a creative dialogue between old and new, marrying the original limestone with modern glass. Developer: Tishman Speyer Properties. Architect: Foster + Partners.

767 fifth avenue privately owned public space

Best Privately Owned Public Space: Fifth Avenue Plaza, General Motors Building, 767 Fifth Avenue in Midtown. The vision for the redesigned plaza, which was lowered to street level and adorned with two reflecting pools and moveable furniture, has been realized as a first-class public space that beautifully integrates the adjacent Apple store. It is a wonderfully creative combination of public amenity and private retail. Developer: Macklowe Properties. Architect: Harry Macklowe of Macklowe Properties and Dan Shannon of Moed de Armas & Shannon.

fairway brooklyn park

Best Neighborhood Catalyst: Fairway Market, 480-500 Van Brunt Street in Red Hook. The developer converted an abandoned, city-owned warehouse into a sought-after Brooklyn destination for both local residents and tourists. By reusing the warehouse to accommodate a Fairway Market, an outdoor café and apartments, the project takes full advantage of its unique waterfront location, creating an on-site ferry dock offering Water Taxi service on weekends. Developer: Greg O’Connell, Kings Harbor View Associates. Architect: Susan Doban Architect, P.C.

battery maritime building restoration

Best Commercial Restoration: Battery Maritime Building, 10 South Street in Lower Manhattan. The city painstakingly restored and stabilized the historic exterior of the structure, replicating its original architectural expression and paint scheme. This noteworthy 1908 landmark is primed for an exciting commercial adventure. Developer: New York City Economic Development Corporation. Architect: Jan Hird Pokorny Associates.

Nominations were reviewed by a distinguished committee which included Helena Rose Durst, assistant vice president of The Durst Organization; Jonathan Marvel, partner in Rogers Marvel Architects; Mohsen Mostafavi, dean of the College of Architecture, Art and Planning at Cornell University; Susan Rodriguez, partner in Polshek and Partners; and Billie Tsien, partner in Tod Williams Billie Tsien and Associates. The committee declined to designate an honoree in the category of Best Residential Restoration this year.

Helaba, known formally as Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen, is an international public sector and commercial wholesale bank with headquarters in Germany. Through Helaba New York, the bank provides real estate financing throughout the United States for large residential and commercial projects.

The writer is director of special events.