Feature

Petrochemical America: From Cancer Alley to Toxic Valley

Environmentally Anxious Art at SPACE Gallery

By Bea Spolidoro, AIA Posted on October 2, 2017

”Great nations, write their autobiographies in three manuscripts – the book of their deeds, the book of their words and the book of their art”, said J. Ruskin (St. Mark’s rest; the history of Venice. (1877). The exhibition PETROCHEMICAL AMERICA: From Cancer Alley to Toxic Valley, currently at SPACE Gallery until October 7, is an exquisite example of how to touch on all the three manuscripts in one show, while leaving for us to decide whether the nation is getting greater or not. Curator Sophie Riedel walked me through the exhibition, showing how Louisiana’s natural geography has been radically repurposed into a vast network for extracting and storing. One wall at the exhibit relays the history of environmental injustice in...

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Feature

Young Architects for an Equitable Pittsburgh

View All the Submissions During This Year's Design Pittsburgh

By Bea Spolidoro, AIA Posted on September 25, 2017

Young Architects Forum members at an informal “Salotto” The Young Architects Studio Competition (YASC) is a special competition within AIA Pittsburgh’s Design Awards. Currently in its 8th edition, Nick Doichev, AIA established the competition in 2010 as an opportunity to recognize the talent of emerging professionals (defined as still studying or a maximum of ten years out of school). In years past, much creativity has been showcased, but the 2017 edition is particularly special. For the first time, the Young Architects Forum (YAF) has come up with a theme for the come up with a theme for the competition based on a discussion of Pittsburgh’s needs. In spring 2017 YAF held a series of meetings, informally called “Salottos” – an...

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Feature

Pittsburgh Energy Innovation Center Achieves LEED Platinum Certification

Preservation Project Achieves Peak Performance

By Maya Henry Posted on July 18, 2017

Photo courtesy Green Building Alliance. A remarkable example of building reuse and historic restoration, a Pittsburgh state-of-the-art green building has successfully met the goal of achieving a high-level LEED Platinum certification.  On July 18, community leaders and government officials, architects, designers, and contractors all gathered to celebrate the the achievement.  The project team includes DLA+ as architect, CJL Engineering as MEP engineer, Klavon Design Associates as landscape architect, evolveEA as the sustainability consultant, and Mascaro Construction as general contractor. The 200,000 square-foot Energy Innovation Center (EIC), which hosts trade apprenticeship programs, energy-related technology labs for five universities, co-working facilities, and other production, design, and workspaces for nonprofit organizations and businesses, was opened in 2015 in the former Connelley Trade School Building....

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Feature

The Midwife Center’s Expansion Creatively Highlights Women’s Health

Rothschild Doyno Collaborative's design uses iconic mural to weave together old and new

By Maya Henry Posted on June 27, 2017

Photo by Maya Henry This March, nine months after it broke ground on a new 6,700 square-foot expansion, The Midwife Center for Birth and Women’s Health opened its new facility and became the largest free-standing birth center in the United States.  Local architects Rothschild Doyno Collaborative were selected as the design team and both client and architect saw numerous benefits from working together as neighbors. The Midwife Center didn’t set out to work with their new Strip District neighbor when the freestanding birth center thinking about expansion in 2010.  The facility has doubled the number of births and gynecological visits in the practice since 2010 and the expansion would allow for two new birthing suites to better match demand as...

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feature

Lessons in Human Nature

Anne Swager's 27 Years with AIA Pittsburgh

By Becky Spevack Posted on June 21, 2017

Anne Swager, Hon. AIA has been called many things – progressive, outspoken, ballsy, an ally, a foe, compassionate, cheerleader, easily distracted, thinker of big ideas. And for the past 27 years, she’s also been called Executive Director of AIA Pittsburgh.  With Anne’s recent retirement on June 5th we are re-running this inspiring interview with then-editor Becky Spevack.  Best of luck in your future travels Anne! Columns: First things first, did you ever expect to be at the AIA this long, to make a career out of it? Anne Swager: No, absolutely not! I never thought I would be around this long. You know, my mom used to say she thought I’d become an architect but my kindergarten teacher spent the...

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Viewpoint

Photo Tour of the Pennsylvania State Capitol Building

Views of the Pennsylvania State Capitol Building During Architects Action Day

By Raymond Bowman, Assoc. AIA Posted on June 7, 2017

Reposted in its entirety from Ray Bowman’s blog RMB-Design: Architecture Made Accessible. As I mentioned last year, I’m doing more and more with the American Institute of Architects (the AIA), both locally, regionally and nationally. It’s part of the reason that I don’t blog about things until months after I do them anymore. One important role of the AIA is to advocate for all architects and support legislation that is supportive for the profession. That’s why the organization moved its headquarters to Washington, D.C. from New York City 50 years ago, to have a louder voice in influencing national legislation. But all politics is local, which is why regional and local chapters of the AIA organize their own lobbying days. Pennsylvania’s...

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Feature

I Belong to the AIA Because …

Architects on the Value of Membership

By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on February 7, 2017

Columns has included a ‘Dossier’ of AIA members almost since its inception as AIA Pittsburgh’s chapter magazine. Here we feature a selection of members’ answers about why they belong to AIA. 1. Paul Rosenblatt, AIA I value the talents, perspectives, and friendship of my colleagues in the profession. Architects are a rare breed and it takes one to know one. 2. Nicole Graycar, AIA The amazing young women in YAF. 3. Dutch MacDonald, AIA It allows me to stay connected to my colleagues in the profession and contribute to the ongoing evolution of the practice. 4. Christian Hughes, Assoc. AIA It is an association of professionals from all ages, walks of life, and backgrounds with one common goal – designing...

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Viewpoint

New Year, Old Face

What's Old is New Again

By Maya Henry Posted on December 28, 2016

Here at AIA Pittsburgh we are ringing in the new year with a new editor at Columns (you may have read that Becky Spevack signed off to devote herself full-time to her bacon-making business).  I’m Maya Henry and I worked here from 2001-2006 when I left to pursue my degree in Historic Preservation Planning. It was working at AIA Pittsburgh and meeting so many passionate architects and designers that got me excited about historic preservation, and I was proud to have the support and mentorship of many of you as I made the decision to attend Cornell. While pursuing my degree I had many opportunities, including leading a trip to Pittsburgh for the whole Department of City and Regional Planning at Cornell,...

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FEATURE

A Letter to Our Members

Our Commitment to You and to Our Community...

Dear AIA Pittsburgh Members and Partners, We have heard from several of you expressing concerns and criticism about Robert Ivy’s initial press release and the subsequent explanation. The fractious nature of the recent campaign is evident in your comments and expressive of the anxiety many feel. While we have responded to many of you individually, we thought it was important to affirm with everyone our commitment to you and to our community. AIA Pittsburgh will continue our work to advance the profession of architecture and to strengthen our community through design. The work of AIA Pittsburgh is based on a set of shared values. We are committed to public health, safety, and welfare of the built environment; diversity; equity; sustainability;...

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HAPPENINGS

Design Pittsburgh 2016

Highlights + Photos

By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on November 4, 2016

Design Pittsburgh is a celebration of architecture and design, and honors those who create it. Design Pittsburgh raises the profile of architects as critical resources and industry experts in the Pittsburgh region. Through exhibits and events, this program provides excellent exposure of architects’ work to a wide variety of audiences – including potential customers. This year we had: 1,000+ people visited the exhibit during the gallery crawl, PechaKucha Night, and Storey Telling 570 attended the Design Awards Ceremony & Gala 4,582 votes for the People’s Choice Award, a 20% increase from last year 55,990+ unique page views throughout the Design Pittsburgh promotional period Additionally, Design Pittsburgh highlights the importance of good design in our region – and how our members, sponsors, partners, and...

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