Empire State Plaza takes the win for Best Outdoor Gathering Spaces

June 27, 2017

Empire State Plaza

The SMART|dynamics Inaugural Awards "Designing masonry for ALL it's Worth" is a first-of-its-kind competition that highlights the projects which best present masonry as fresh for the 21st century. 

We are proud to announce that the Empire State Plaza Grand Stair project has been awarded in the Outdoor Gathering Spaces category.


The Empire State Plaza is a unique gathering space for community events. The project involved the complete reconstruction of the waterproofing system of the monumental stair structure, which spans over Madison Avenue in Albany, New York, and connects the terrace of the New York State Museum with the Plaza to the north. The project included the removal of the granite stairs and marble parapets, and the construction of a new concrete sub-slab with fully integrated drainage mat. 

Judges Comments

This is a technically excellent and well-built, thoughtful project. In terms of an understanding of drainage systems, it shows a comprehensive understanding. This project re-uses about 98% of the existing stone material. This is a testimony to the integrity of the initial designer's selection. The Owner's expectation for a weather-tight restoration that maintains the initial design integrity is well executed. The principal innovation is in the re-imaging of the cladding system. The [current design team] are to be applauded for maintaining the integrity of the original aesthetic.


Click HERE to view the full SMART|dynamics of masonry article. 

Download: PDF


Shoutout to our project team:

Michael Mucci, Exec PM

Kelly Thierbecker, PM

Jude Clary, Superintendent

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