Feature

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

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...

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Feature

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....

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Feature

Four Benefits of Creating Transit-Oriented Development with Mixed-Income Housing

Can Housing Be Truly Affordable Without Public Transit?

By Maya Henry Posted on January 25, 2017

When transit-oriented development is combined with mixed-income housing the benefits multiply. Transportation is a hidden cost of living and is at the heart of equitable access to services and jobs. It’s difficult to have truly affordable housing without access to multi-modal transportation choices. Transportation is so crucial to healthy communities that former Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx called it “one of the top social justice issues of our time.” Local officials agree. Last year at an event at Pitt’s Institute of Politics Kevin Acklin, Chief of Staff to Mayor Peduto, said, “transportation can be a bridge to lift people out of poverty.”  He noted that the administration is paying special attention to places of disinvestment and displacement. The p4 PITTSBURGH PolicyLink...

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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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From the Firms – December 23, 2015

AE Works has been listed as part of the 2015 Inner City 100. The Inner City 100 program recognizes successful inner city businesses and their CEOs as role models for entrepreneurship, innovative business practices, and job creation in America’s urban communities. AE Works ranked 38th overall. DLA+ Architecture is the firm behind Baseballparks.com’s 2015 Ballpark of the Year award winner, Monongalia County Ballpark in Morgantown, West Virginia. The park is home of the Black Bears, an MiLB affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the WVU Mountaineers. Desmone Architects welcomes Abbey Burton as assistant project designer and Joe Beerens as senior architect. The firm has also welcomed Andre Clark and Faisal Sedan as design interns, Paul Bahn as project manager, Afnan...

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HAPPENINGS

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...

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Viewpoint

Take Five

Clarification from the AIA-Appointed Architect Licensing Adviser of PA...

By Sean Sheffler, AIA Posted on August 25, 2015

Anyone that knows me has probably noticed that I spend a lot of time talking to a lot of young professionals. And it surprises me that, even with the massive effort NCARB has undertaken to educate the community about the pending changes in the exam process (including publishing the Test Specification), there’s still a great deal of confusion and misunderstanding about what’s actually going on. So let’s all take a collective breather –take five, if you will – and review some of the more important facts about ARE 5.0… 1. The new version of the exam is still over a year away.  ARE 5.0 is not set to launch until late 2016, well over a year from now.  Anyone that...

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feature

Lessons in Human Nature

Anne Swager's 25 Years with AIA Pittsburgh

By Becky Spevack Posted on August 23, 2015

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 25 years, she’s also been called Executive Director of AIA Pittsburgh. I have worked with AIA Pittsburgh and Anne in a handful of capacities over the past decade and one thing I have learned is, if she has a story to tell (and she will), you should sit down and listen. We touched base over a cup of coffee recently to look back over this quarter century of her leadership at AIA Pittsburgh and her career serving as a voice for the architecture community. Columns: First things first, did you ever...

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From the Firms – April 2, 2015

Astorino/CannonDesign has received the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania’s (ESWP’s) 2014 “Project of the Year” award in the Commercial category for the design of Allegheny Health Network’s Health + Wellness Pavilion. The original concept behind the project was to bring a range of outpatient services into the community, on a level of quality and sophistication normally found only in a hospital. Not only convenient, but because this would be a ‘one stop shop’ with all of the services under one roof, the continuity of care across specialties should be far more seamless and integrated than when transitioning between physically separate facilities. This building is the embodiment of patient-centered care. Desmone Architects welcomes Jen Bee, AIA to the firm. With a Master...

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Directionless

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...

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