The Women's Building Design Competition

CompanyReddymade Architecture & Design Pllc
Lead DesignerSuchitra Reddy & Damyanti Radheshwar
Design TeamSuchitra Reddy, Damyanti Radheshwar, Agnes Toth, Wanwan Gu
PrizeArchitectural Design / Tall Buildings

The Women’s Building was envisioned as a celebratory building for the global girls’ and women’s rights movement, represented by the NoVo foundation. Enlarging and repurposing a former women’s prison in the heart of New York City, we provide a remarkable space for one of the most underrepresented communities worldwide. We conceived of the building as a beacon in the skyline that announces its important collaborative mission. Symbolizing the right of women to occupy their space in the world, the new building embraces the existing in ribbons of concrete and glass that flow together to emphasize a vision collaboration, transformation and power. Driven by the needs of the community it serves, and sensitive to its context in a corridor of iconic architecture, we designed the women’s building as a visually strong fluent form that respects the history of the existing building and translates it into dynamic interior spaces that encourage collaboration and community and include historical elements. Sheathed in ribbons of ultra-high performance concrete and glass, the new building envelops the existing with its skin creating an enclosed auditorium and event space on the upper floors. The heart of the project is the collaborative not-for-profit atrium style space through three floors of the existing building, illuminated by a three story installation of specular surfaces that will bring light from the roof into the depths of the building and be made and installed by girls and women from diverse backgrounds. The complex provides spaces for a health center, child-care services, galleries and a restaurant as well. The new tower will house for-profit rental office space with views to the river and the city for small companies or businesses in art and culture supporting the women’s building. Sustainably designed, the building incorporates hydroponic bio-filter walls, energy conservation, water recovery systems, and heat sensing glass.