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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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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