One thing we’ve come to expect every year when it comes to our annual, year-end “Best Of” competition is that it’s nearly impossible to make any assumptions or predictions as to the outcome.
Best Of 2008 produced the largest number of submissions we’d ever seen. But those 269 submissions yielded a relatively underwhelming 38 winning projects.
In 2009, we did get one prediction right - we saw a marked decline in the number of submissions, presumably because the economy was cratering and many projects that might otherwise have been completed that year were halted. That year, we saw 150 submissions. Improbably, our judges saw fit to give awards to nearly a third of those projects - 45 to be exact. It was the largest number of winners this magazine had ever had.
Cut to 2010.
The big fear around here was that submissions would plummet even further since the construction industry had taken it on the chin for a third consecutive year.
But the number of submissions actually went up. This year we received 180 projects for consideration. We wondered, once we saw that number, if we’d have more winners than we did last year.
This year, our panel of seven expert judges from across the A/E/C industries selected 32 winners. And we’re officially retiring from the prediction business.
It was a tough panel, but they were all extremely impressed with the quality of the submissions we received this year.
“We had to draw the line in some cases, but this was a pretty interesting group of projects across the board,” one judge said following a long morning of debating the merits of each submission.
This year’s winning project stuck with a trend that started in 2008. The New York region has completed five major league sports facilities in the last three years and three of them have earned Overall Project of the Year awards. This year saw the completion of two of those facilities and the $1.6 billion New Meadowlands Stadium claimed our top honor.
As usual, the judges gathered at our Manhattan offices in early September having already been able to view the projects on their own time and rank their favorites. Once we got them all in the same room, they had independently selected many of the same projects as their favorites prior to judging.
But that’s not to say there weren’t any differences of opinion - or even moderately heated exchanges - between our esteemed panelists. Several projects that were initially declared winners were, after further discussion, removed from the win column. Others were intitially rejected only to be championed by one or two individual judges who were able to convince their colleagues of the projects’ merits.
Each year our awards program is only as good as the group of judges we assemble and this year’s group was perfectly suited to the task laid before them. Each of them brought a unique perspective to every submission they considered and we were honored to have them all play such an important role in our biggest issue of the year.
The pages that follow will introduce you not only to our panel of judges, but also to the projects they deemed the Best of 2010 in the Tri-State Region.
The winning design and construction teams for all of the winning projects - as well as our judges - will all be honored at our annual awards breakfast on Thursday, Dec. 16 at the Marriott Marquis in Manhattan.
CEO, Bovis Lend Lease, New York, N.Y.
Esposito is the executive vice president and general manager of Bovis Lend Lease in New York. In these positions, Ralph is responsible for leading the New York office through the challenges of business development and strategic planning in the wake of the stellar rise and collapse of the construction market. With a passionate vision, Ralph leads the integration of all aspects of a successful long-term enterprise: sustainability, safety, profitability, commitment, confidence and accountability.
Partner, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, New York, N.Y.
Vacchione is a partner in the New York office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP. The arc of Anthony’s career extends from the master planning and urban design of ground and air transportation facilities, school and university campuses, city districts and new towns, to the executive management of architectural design projects for transportation and education clients. Anthony has extensive expertise in the overall planning of airports and the detailed planning of terminals. As partner-in-charge of SOM’s Airport Planning and Design, he directs SOM’s aviation practice across the firm and currently directs the Transportation Group’s daily activities and plays a key role in many of SOM’s transportation projects. Recently, he was responsible for the success of projects at JFK, Lester B. Pearson, Logan, and Newark International Airports, and the expansion of the historic main terminal complex at Washington Dulles International Airport. His work overseas includes the Skyplaza project at Hong Kong International Airport, the expansion of the Abu Dhabi International Airport, and a new passenger terminal for Mumbai International Airport. In New York, Anthony is currently managing the LaGuardia Airport Central Terminal Building Modernization Program.