Two SOM Projects Win AIA NY Excelsior Awards for Public Architecture

Left: PSAC II, Photo © Albert Vecerka | Esto; Right: John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Photo © Eduard Hueber | Archphoto

Two SOM projects received the AIA New York State Chapter Excelsior Award for Public Architecture. Public Safety Answering Center II (PSAC II) and John Jay College of Criminal Justice were both recognized for their significant contribution to the public sphere, serving as models for public design and advocacy.

Located in the Bronx, PSAC II was created to enhance New York City’s 911 emergency response system and has set a high standard for sustainability. The 450,000-square-foot building brings together emergency response workers from multiple city agencies—the Police Department, the Fire Department, and Emergency Medical Services—serving as a model for inter-agency cooperation. Continuously operating and highly secure, the building enhances the city’s ability to maintain communication in the event of a natural disaster or large-scale emergency. The project’s completion is a milestone in New York City’s overhaul of its 911 system, a long-term initiative begun by former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

Part of the City University of New York since 1964, John Jay College of Criminal Justice trains students in emergency response, forensic psychology, and cyber security. Enrollment increased dramatically after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, prompting the school to create more space and expand its offerings. SOM’s addition consists of a four-story podium, a 14-story tower, and an expansive, landscaped terrace that serves as a campus commons. The 625,000-square-foot project is not only a new building for expanded instructional space, but also an opportunity to integrate all functions into a unified urban campus, creating an academic “city within the city.”