Care for Hudson Square

As New York City reopens in the coming months, our streetscapes will be the sites of convening, culture and healing.


About ↓

Hudson Square Properties has awarded the Urban Design Forum a grant to contract a qualified consultant to create a placemaking installation to contribute to the reopening of Hudson Square, New York this fall.

Urban Design Forum will invite proposals to strategize using the streetscape as a site for cultural reawakening after months of social isolation. We will welcome proposals to safely reintroduce residents, workers, and visitors alike back into the neighborhood fabric with new designs for temporary seating areas, sculpture and pavilions. We will welcome design that responds creatively, dynamically, and responsively to changing public health guidance on physical distancing, while inviting New Yorkers to safely celebrate city life. We aim to build a project that reactivates the public realm while supporting an agile approach in its management and the care of its users.

Our project will take place in Hudson Square. After a comprehensive revitalization effort, the former Printing District had evolved into a hub for a creative workforce. As the city adapts every inch of its public realm during the pandemic to accommodate public life, the Urban Design Forum, Hudson Square Properties, and the Hudson Square BID will collaborate to create a placemaking installation on one of three sites: King Street between Hudson and Greenwich Streets; Sixth Avenue (“Little Sixth Avenue”) between Spring and Broome Streets, and a Privately-Owned Public Space adjacent to 375 Hudson Street.

We welcome the design community to inspire us with public realm projects that exemplify how cultural partners can return to the public realm, and support the healing of the city. We will encourage modular, easily deployed, and easily maintained designs that may be potentially reproduced in other neighborhoods of New York City. And we will also invite online interaction to share the site-specific installation with our broad constituency of architects, developers, advocates and academics, as well as the broader public to discuss the challenges of designing in the public realm in the evolving public health landscape.

King Street & Hudson Street


Competition Timeline ↓

Stage One

July 10, 2020
RFQ process begins.

July 17, 2020
Respondents may submit questions.

July 24, 2020
Answers to questions will be published.

July 30, 2020
Responses are due at 6:00pm EDT.

Stage Two

August 3-7, 2020
We will notify short-listed teams.

August 10-14, 2020
Finalists are encouraged to plan site visits with Hudson Square Properties.

August 24-28, 2020
Finalists present their designs to the Selection Committee.

September 16, 2020
Winner is announced.

View the RFQ ►


Selection Committee ↓

Ellen Baer (Hudson Square BID); Tommy Craig (Hines); Michelle Delk (Snøhetta); Xenia Diente (Department of Design and Construction); Jeff Hebert (HR&A); Kendal Henry (Department of Cultural Affairs); Claudia Herasme (formerly Department of City Planning); Latoya Kamdang (Moody Nolan); David Roll (Norges Bank); Sujohn Sarkar (Trinity Church); James von Klemperer (KPF); and Weston Walker (Studio Gang)


Frequently Asked Questions ↓

Application Process

Does the page limit include 15 pages individually or 15 page spreads?

We invite you to submit a response in 15 pages individually, electronically submitted as a single PDF document no larger than 25MB in 8.5” x 11” format.

Is the RFQ an open, public call?

We have opened the RFQ outside of our network of Fellows. If you are interested in nominating another firm to apply, feel free to share their contact and we’d be happy to extend an invitation.

How did you select the pool of architects for the RFQ? Are they firms working in Hudson Square?

We have extended an invitation to our network of Fellows based in New York City, targeted emerging firms, and firms located in Hudson Square.

Is the selection committee looking for a 500-word submission only, or should we also be submitting a preliminary design concept with the proposal (such as renders, diagrams, etc.)?

In the first stage of our selection process, the jury will focus on the qualifications of each team and use the criteria highlighted in the RFQ to select three finalists. For the RFQ, we welcome firms to discuss related projects and how you will approach the three possible sites in the context of Hudson Square. These three finalists will then present a completed design proposal in the next round.

Could we submit work under three “strategies” from pages 4-9, but more than 3 projects? Or is it acceptable to show additional projects, such as loose images with small captions in pages 11-15? Can earlier pages that include the 500-word Design Approach also include images?

We ask you to submit a maximum of three projects that could also fall into specific strategies for approaching a site. You are welcome to include additional images from your practice under Design Approach or Additional Information, but only three projects under Project Experience will be used to determine your qualifications.

Who will maintain the installation?

Winners will not be required to maintain the work, but we encourage easily maintainable designs.

I’m in the process of applying to become a minority-/woman-owned business, but won’t have it in time for the July 30th deadline. Could I supply a letter from the attorney or our accountant?

Within your application, please make sure to note anything you would like us to consider.

Is there an estimated schedule for construction, implementation, and/or an opening date?

We have a tentative scheduled date for the end of September 2020 as opening date, which will depend on the permitting and construction timeline required by the finalist, as well as the City’s continuing guidance around reopening.

Is a community participation and engagement process envisaged to take place as part of this process? If so, will the design teams be responsible to organize, plan and facilitate this process? Can you outline the duration and nature of the envisaged engagement process if defined?

We will welcome finalists to develop a community engagement process, and will
collaborate with the Business Improvement District to connect you with residents and businesses.

Can I submit if I am based in NYC but I would like to partner up with a colleague based in another city or country for the RFQ?

Yes, teams are permitted but we require that teams include one team member who maintains a residency or office in New York City.

Can I be participate in more than one submission?

You’re welcome to join two separate teams on two different RFQ responses, but only as one lead applicant.

We would like to submit a project that is currently in development and confidential. Could we request a nondisclosure agreement?

Unfortunately, we won’t be able to secure NDAs at this time. If you’re interested in including this project, we recommend that you mark any images and information effectively. Please include text or watermark dictating that the project is highly confidential and not available to share publicly, and we’ll note accordingly.

Site Selection

Hudson Square is bounded by Clarkson-Canal and West St. – 6th Ave. Are there specific sites within that area which are determined or preferred for design interventions?

There will be three possible sites for installation: King Street between Hudson and Greenwich Streets; Sixth Avenue (“Little Sixth Avenue”) between Spring and Broome Streets, and a Privately-Owned Public Space adjacent to 375 Hudson Street.

There are Open Streets on Greenwich, King, Dominick, and 6th Avenue. Are these Open Streets expected to continue for the foreseeable future?

The Open Streets program is currently scheduled to remain open until October 31, and may be extended according to updated city and public health guidance.

Where is the Privately-Owned Public Space adjacent to 375 Hudson?

The POPS surrounds 375 Hudson, yet there is only one area for seating on the northside (approximately a 52 ft wide section). You may consider a floor treatment for the surrounding area of the property under consultation from our partners’ zoning counsel to meet city guidelines.

How long will the installation remain on site?

Installation is expected to be on site for approximately 2 to 3 months, depending on external factors such as facilitation of permits, installation date, and open streets program conclusion date.


Can design proposals assume access to power (via methods and sources TBD at a later stage)?

Finalists may consult engineering, but permitting may be slow for installation of this type.

Can the installations be mobile (i.e. on wheels)?

Installations may consider a wide range of design opportunities. Finalists will be invited to consult with counsel and the business improvement district to evaluate viability.

Will the use of water be considered viable (fountain, etc)?

Finalists may consult an engineer, but permitting may be slow for installation of this type.

What consideration should we take for existing public vehicle infrastructure like bus stops and Citi Bike racks? Can they be relocated or should they generally remain?

They cannot be relocated.

Will the design team be expected to deal with any required city permitting and regulatory approval processes or will this be handled by the organizations sponsoring and managing the process?

The winning team will provide all relevant documents required for permitting and construction. Permitting applications and costs will be covered and managed by the partner organizations.

Is the $10,000 fee all inclusive—construction/fabrication cost, design fee, structural engineering, and permitting (if necessary)?

No. $10,000 is awarded as a design fee to each of the three finalists. There is a $100,000 budget for fabrication, installation, insurance, engineering letter, deinstallation and if required, building permit drawings.

What involvement is expected of the winning team once the selected scheme begins construction, fabrication, and implementation?

Once plans are submitted, Hudson Square Properties will manage costs, fabrication, construction, permitting of design, and implementation. We would require some consultation during the fabrication and installation process to insure proper execution of design. If a winning team is interested in fabricating the design, it can be explored with Hudson Square Properties.

Will any additional fee be available for the team whose proposal is selected to cover involvement during implementation (further detail design as required, clarifications, mock up review, etc)?

Hudson Square Properties plans to contribute $100,000 for fabrication, installation, insurance, engineering letter, deinstallation and if required, building permit drawings. We encourage respondents to consider design and material choices within that budget.

Are the design teams expected to provide their own cost estimate and if so will these be part of the final submission – or dealt with separately once a final scheme is selected?

For the RFQ, no cost estimate is required. Three finalists will be selected to submit design proposals for the site and cost estimate. The finalists will be in close contact with Hudson Square Properties to advise on fabrication costs and any site limitations.

Is there a timeline for implementation after the September selection? This would be informative to consider the time of year for opening.

The winning project will be implemented as early as the final week of September, pending evolving health guidance. We encourage submitters to consider a range of climates as they submit their Design Approaches.

Ownership and Rights of Design

Could you please clarify “Ownership and Reuse of Documents” of documents submitted through the RFQ? Will this apply to all submissions, or just to the one(s) selected for execution?

The “Ownership and Reuse of Documents” clause enables UDF, HSP, and Hudson Square BID to share submitted materials as we promote the competition and finalists. Respondents to the RFQ should expect to retain the intellectual property of their Design Approach statements.

All finalists will retain the intellectual property of their designs. If said designs will be used in promotional materials, or implemented elsewhere, we will request the Urban Design Forum and/or Hudson Square Properties to be properly attributed.

What are the ownership and rights to any designs we submit, especially in the event of them being selected for deployment?

The Architect and the Owner warrant that in transmitting Instruments of Service, or any other information, the transmitting party is the copyright owner of such information or has permission from the copyright owner to transmit such information for its use on the Project.

The Architect and the Architect’s consultants shall be deemed the authors and owners of their respective Instruments of Service, including the Drawings and Specifications, and shall retain all common law, statutory and other reserved rights, including copyrights. Submission or distribution of Instruments of Service to meet official regulatory requirements or for similar purposes in connection with the Project is not to be construed as publication in derogation of the reserved rights of the Architect and the Architect’s consultants.

The Architect hereby grants to the Owner a nonexclusive, perpetual, license to use the Architect’s Instruments of Service solely and exclusively for purposes of constructing, using, maintaining, altering and adding to the Project. The Architect shall obtain similar nonexclusive licenses from the Architect’s consultants consistent with this Agreement. The license granted under this section permits the Owner to authorize the Contractor, Subcontractors, Sub-subcontractors, and suppliers, as well as the Owner’s consultants and separate contractors, to reproduce applicable portions of the Instruments of Service solely and exclusively for use in performing services or construction for the Project.

In the event the Owner uses the Instruments of Service without retaining the authors of the Instruments of Service, the Owner releases the Architect and Architect’s consultant(s) from all claims and causes of action arising from such uses.

Architect agrees that it will provide credit to the Urban Design Forum in any reuse or publication or other public use of any of its renderings or other Instruments of Service in the following form: “Created for the Urban Design Forum.”