All photos Adam Warner, IKM Incorporated “High-performance building” takes on new meaning when showcasing a visual art like ballet. When the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre announced plans to build an expansion in 2013, they accepted an obligation to grow responsibly and ensure the longevity of a beloved arts organization. With this obligation comes a distinct set of priorities (and constraints) for nonprofit organizations where sustainable practices often fall short in the face of time and budget. How, then, does a brand in the business of “pushing the limits,” push the limits of green design on a budget? In partnership with IKM, a firm committed to the goals of the AIA 2030 Challenge, the Ballet agreed on a design that puts art on...
The Nonprofit Paradox: High-Performance on a Budget
Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Annex, Byham Center for Dance
By Nicole Grayburn and Melanie Como Harris, AIA Posted on April 17, 2017
ACTION-Housing’s Penn Mathilda Development
What an Affordable Housing Solution Can Look Like in an Urban Neighborhood Business District
By Maya Henry Posted on March 28, 2017
All photos by Nathaniel Rice courtesy ACTION-Housing, Inc. unless otherwise noted. ACTION-Housing’s Penn Mathilda development designed by mossArchitects seems to defy conventions about what affordable housing is, can, and should be. The project provides 39 units of affordable housing with half reserved for veterans. Additionally, the commercial spaces are fully leased to arts-based, locally-grown businesses including Assemble, Level Up Studios, and Silver Eye Center for Photography. The project is contextual, adjacent to public transportation, and takes into consideration the Penn Avenue Corridor Master Plan that recommends that new developments be pedestrian-oriented and contain ground floor retail, restaurant, and gallery uses to promote active storefronts. Columns recently sat down with developer Lena Andrews of ACTION-Housing and architect Andrew Moss, AIA of mossArchitects to discuss the project....
And the Winner is … Affordability
A Juror Highlights Affordable Projects from the 2017 Institute Honor Awards for Architecture
By Bea Spolidoro, AIA Posted on February 15, 2017
Each year AIA National the 2017 Architecture program celebrates the best contemporary architecture regardless of budget, size, style, or type. These stunning projects show the world the range of outstanding work architects create and highlight the many ways buildings and spaces can improve our lives. Here are four 2017 winners highlighted by Pittsburgh’s own Bea Spolidoro, AIA who was invited to participate on this year’s jury. Last summer, I was invited to be a juror for the 2017 Institute Honor Awards for Architecture with other eight professionals. The jury typically features architect members of the AIA and one non-architect, acting as an allied professional and client representative. At the time, I was serving as the Associate AIA member of the...
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...
Design Pittsburgh 2016
View All of the Winners of Our Juried Competition
By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on October 27, 2016
ARCHITECTURE: Honor Award PROJECT NAME: Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Knoxville Branch CLIENT: Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh ARCHITECTURE FIRM: GBBN Architects DESIGN TEAM: Anne Chen, AIA; Amanda Markovic; Julian Sandoval ENGINEERS: Sci-Tek Consultants, Inc.; WBCM; WNA Engineering, Inc. CONTRACTORS: Shannon Construction Co. PHOTOGRAPHERS: Massery Photography, Inc. DESCRIPTION: Formally described as a bunker, this project transforms a brutalist 1962 building into an inviting destination for a diverse community. The deeply recessed entrances were moved forward to provide ample glazing that facilitates views to the street and daylight to the interior. Small additions at the front and side of the original building maximize the interior plan, providing a dedicated area for teens and expanded children’s area with an outdoor deck. JURY COMMENTS: With...
From the Ground Up
Prototype Housing Helps Shape the Places We Call ‘Home’
By Virginia Shields Posted on October 6, 2016
This article originally appeared in Columns Magazine in September 2009. It’s one of humanity’s basic needs. From caves to huts to houses, shelter has changed dramatically as humans sought to better their world. Many housing innovations have had to do with survival, furnaces for warmth, glass windows for protection, while other strides have been in the art of building and the building of art. Nonetheless, humans have been busy perfecting the construction methods of home-building for thousands of years. Each of the new developments in homes had to start with a dreamer architect and a prototype design, be it a Cro-Magnon with a crudely constructed hut or a designer with a neatly grafted blueprint. And today’s architecture is as rich...
Design Pittsburgh 2015
Highlights + Photos
By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on October 28, 2015
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: 35% increase in Design Award Submissions 1,000+ people visit the exhibit during the gallery crawl and PechaKucha Night, held in the exhibit space 520 registered to attend the Design Awards Ceremony & Gala 3,647 votes for the People’s Choice Award 49,000+ unique page views to the Design Pittsburgh webpages and online exhibit throughout the promotional period Additionally, Design Pittsburgh highlights the importance...
The Story of Collapse
The Art of Seth Clark
By Bea Spolidoro, Assoc. AIA Posted on August 18, 2015
The first time I viewed Seth Clark’s work, the intern architect in me felt threatened. What loss and shame in all of these collapsing architectures! Clark’s collages, though, are too mesmerizing to be dismissed that easily, and I couldn’t resist that attractive pull of something that scared me. I decided to learn more and set up an interview with Clark, who has been named the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts 2015 Emerging Artist of the Year. I started with a joke about the fact that, initially, he could be seen as a nemesis of architects, and believe it or not, that broke the ice. While also working as a graphic artist, his installations and collages focus on collapsing buildings and...
Is the profession floundering?
By Vincent DeFazio, Assoc. AIA Posted on January 8, 2015
In the matter of three weeks, the field of (capital -A)rchitecture has been brought to the forefront of media outlets in two different world-renowned, American periodicals. Both Forbes and The New York Times have sparked a debate deep inside the profession that has heads ringing and pedagogical debates spurring. Academia from all over the world are chiming in on the quality and state of architecture, including some well-regarded ‘starchitects’ who claim that normal, everyday architects like you and I create ‘pure shit’. And therein lies perhaps the largest problem of them all; the groups involved in this discourse are so far removed from the underlying issues that their coined opinions are nothing more than lackadaisical words strewn together to piss...
Design Pittsburgh 2014
See the winners of our juried competition
By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on October 23, 2014
ARCHITECTURE: Honor Award PROJECT: Graduate School of Public Health CLIENT: University of Pittsburgh ARCHITECTURE FIRM: Joint Venture: Renaissance 3 Architects, P.C. and Wilson Architects CONTRACTOR: PJ Dick ENGINEERS: Affiliated Engineers Metro DC, Inc.; Barber & Hoffman, Inc.; The Gateway Engineers, Inc. PHOTOGRAPHER: Anton Grassl of Esto Photographics DESCRIPTION: The Graduate School of Public Health is located on a main thoroughfare that runs the length of the University of Pittsburgh’s urban campus. The University sought a building that would establish a real presence for GSPH in the community and reflect the significant research occurring within. By designing an elevated addition with extensive glass facades, the building showcases the school’s activities along the main avenue; the transparent facades eliminate barriers between the...