WXY was founded in 1998 as Weisz + Yoes when Claire Weisz and Mark Yoes created a base for their collaborative architectural vision. Early projects were formally ambitious with tight budget and time constraints. The results were small, inventive buildings, including the pavilion for the Museum of Jewish Heritage and The House in the Springs. Focusing on change in the public realm, the firm created public landscapes on challenging sites and urban design plans for re-imagining infrastructure. A recycling center and a new type of sanitation garage, along with designs for security booths and interactive information centers expanded this focus. In 2009 the firm renamed itself WXY to reflect the ethos of the firm and the addition of a third partner, Layng Pew.
Much of WXY’s work is about social and environmental transformation. Many commissions are initiated by the firm in collaboration with community, public, and private clients. Always deeply rooted in studies of the opportunities and limitations of the specific context, the firm’s work articulates emerging hybrid programs that reflect the complexities of contemporary life and create new armatures for social interaction. WXY is interested in the precision of design and the experimental nature of all forms of building. The firm’s recognition of the fundamentally cooperative and cross-disciplinary nature of contemporary design has sparked fruitful collaborations with new media designers, landscape designers, engineers, and visual artists, creating a rich palette and materiality, striking geometries, as well as the sometimes low-tech and other times cutting-edge sustainable technologies.
With a Young Architects Award in 1998, the firm went on to receive several distinctions from the AIA and ASLA for the Battery Bosque and the Bronx Charter School for the Arts, among others. In 2006 the firm received the Chrysler/House Beautiful Innovative Designer Award in Architecture; a New York Designs Award from the Architecture League; and a top Honor Award from the Waterfront Center. In 2008 we received an AIA NYS Award of Merit for Kowsky Plaza and in 2009, a New York Designs award and an AIA NYS Urban Planning/Design Award of Excellence for the Battery Bosque. Most recently, the firm was named an Emerging Voice by the Architectural League and was awarded an AIA Interiors Award of Merit for the NYC Information Center.
The firm has been successful in many international competitions, with a winning design for The Nanhe River Landscape Bridge in Xinjin County, China, and as a finalist in The Providence River Bridge, The Toronto Central Waterfront, The New York Aquarium Perimeter Competition and the Center for Architecture, among others. WXY’s work has been published both locally and internationally, most recently in 2010 New York Dozen and New Exhibition Design 02.
The firm is certified as a women-owned business enterprise (WBE) by New York City, New York State, and The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.