There are more than 6,000 sidewalk sheds throughout New York City covering buildings and construction sites and spanning more than 1,000,000 linear feet. These structures typically stay in place for a year at a time and are installed to protect pedestrians from ongoing construction operations, but they undermine the beauty of New York City’s architecture.
The urbanSHED International Design Competition, launched by Mayor Bloomberg in August 2009, challenged the global design community to create a new standard of sidewalk shed design and develop a prototype worthy of today’s New York City. The competition sought a fresh, new sidewalk shed design that’s sustainable, economical, meets or exceeds the City’s current safety requirements and regulations, improves technical and structural performance and creates a better environment for the people who live in, work in and visit New York City. Engineers, architects, designers and students from around the world were invited to compete in the competition. Competitors generated innovative, compelling and environmentally friendly proposals to re-imagine temporary sidewalk shed design while improving the pedestrian experience.
The winner of the urbanSHED International Design Competition and the first design to be approved under Buildings Bulletin 2011-023 is the Urban Umbrella.