social responsibility

PCF&P's commitment to our city and our planet
Show Facts
Queens, New York

A vision for a sustainable urbanism in the 21st century: Sunnyside Yard mixed-use, mixed-income master plan; competition finalist 2021

Backing up our strong practice of sustainable design, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners models environmental responsibility within the firm. We were an early signatory to the AIA 2030 Commitment, aimed at carbon neutrality for all new construction, and we cultivate these values in the studio through an array of energy-conservation measures, including recycling and waste reduction initiatives. We sponsor staff in the LEED and WELL accreditation process and provide related educational programming.
Our firm has deep roots in its hometown and gives back to the community in the best way it can: through design. This engagement goes back to our 1960s master plan for the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, an early model of successful urban revitalization.
More recently, we provided pro bono design services to create a major new venue for a local arts non-profit, a project recognized with multiple awards, and our mixed-income residential complex in East Harlem received ULI’s Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Award.
Pei Cobb Freed & Partners is majority owned by first-generation minority immigrants to the United States. We are committed to fostering diversity in our profession and our project teams, through mentorship, networking, and open dialogue. With more than 40 percent of our staff representing minority groups, our firm gives voice to the entire multifaceted community of New York City.
Our commitment to diversity is evident as well in our choice of sub-consultants: a significant percentage of the specialist firms on our project teams are federally or locally M/WBE certified. We believe that the most successful projects derive from the lively collaboration of talented individuals, a variety of participants, and a shared commitment to design excellence that encourages access for all.
Within our own studio, we cultivate an inclusive culture that emphasizes team engagement and provides opportunity for advancement. We actively support the professional development of all of our designers, sponsoring their registration and accreditation process and hosting in-house educational seminars and workshops.
Mentorship is the lifeblood of our practice, and partners and senior staff share their knowledge and expertise with project teams on a daily basis as well as in regular firm-wide gatherings. Team members remain involved with a project from start to finish, ensuring the continuity of design intent and allowing each individual to develop a strong sense of ownership and pride in the outcome.
The firm counts among its works one of the earliest AIA Top Ten Green Projects as well as the first LEED-EB Gold office building in Washington, DC. These pioneering projects, along with our current LEED Platinum designs, demonstrate our long-standing and continuing commitment to sustainability.
Considerations of health and wellness are an integral part of this concern: with several WELL-accredited professionals on staff, we bring their body of knowledge and perspective to all our work, seeking to create spaces that both protect and promote health and allow for human flourishing.
From the pioneering use of cast-in-place concrete in the 1950s to current innovations in climate wall design and technology, PCF&P has always been at the forefront of advances in building craft and materials science.
Guided by one of the world’s leading authorities on curtainwall design, partner Michael D. Flynn, our in-house curtainwall team has been responsible for an array of sophisticated climate walls, such as the sinuous glass enclosure housing computer-controlled shading vanes and photovoltaic cells at Palazzo Lombardia in Milan, or the lively facade of the David H. Koch Center in New York, with its distinctive frit pattern and internal wood shading devices, never before used at this scale.
In addition to our investigation of new sustainable solutions, we are vigorously engaged in exploring new and emerging paradigms for living, learning, and working, through the creation of lively campus environments that foster community and well-being; the design of highly flexible workplaces that accommodate a range of working styles; and taking on speculative design challenges to envision new forms of sustainable urbanism for the 21st century.
Project Credits

Images: Albert Vecerka/Esto, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, Zachary Tyler Newton, Fernando Guerra, Paul Warchol