Review

Architecture That Sparks Conversation

Action, Ideas, Architecture: Arthur Lubetz/Front Studio at the Heinz Architectural Center

By Bea Spolidoro, AIA Posted on May 1, 2017

The Heinz Architectural Center is currently displaying an exhibit covering five decades of work by Arthur Lubetz. Lubetz, fully active and with no intention to retire, is one of the principals at Front Studio, an award-winning firm based in Pittsburgh and New York City. It is rare to see the work of an active architect being celebrated in a museum, but if you visit the exhibit, you will immediately understand why. The architecture of Arthur Lubetz is always provocative, even when it’s only proposed, and sparks conversation. That conversation typically involves colorful,  modern architecture, but in a more traditional context. Although Arthur Lubetz says “I learned a long time ago that red paint doesn’t cost any more than beige,” the...

Read More
Review

Seeing the Impact of a Public Architecture

A Look at "Building Optimism" at the CMOA

By Brian Gaudio, Assoc. AIA Posted on November 4, 2016

As I walked into the Heinz Architecture Center I was greeted by large 4’ x 8’ sheets of finished plywood leaning against the wall. On them was printed in bright blue letters, “Building Optimism: Public Space in South America.” The exhibition at the Carnegie Museum of Art showcases “the powerful public role of architecture and urban design.” Many of the projects are located in informal portions of the city where residents use found materials and repurpose them in meaningful ways (hence the plywood title boards seen throughout the exhibit). The show features innovative public space and infrastructure projects in Chile, Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, and Colombia. El Equipo de Mazzanti’s awe-inspiring Biblioteca España, ELEMENTAL’s incremental housing project Villa Verde, and Urban...

Read More
Review

Four Stories to be Seen

Architecture + Photography exhibit at the HAC

By Bea Spolidoro, Assoc. AIA Posted on April 23, 2014

Currently on display at the Heinz Architectural Center is Architecture + Photography, an eclectic exhibition of architecture-related photos, organized in four sections. You will not learn everything about the photography of architecture, nor will you find a complete timeline, to explain all that happened from Daguerre to Photoshop. What you will find is a mesmerizing collection of great images that will let you think about photography, and discover places and architecture that can be interesting for anyone – not only architects or photographers. This exhibition is about four different stories of how people take photographs of and about architecture, and why. The viewers are invited to interpret them according to their own personal experience. In the section “Photographing the World:...

Read More
Feature

Playing in (and on) The Playground Project

Pure enjoyment from the HAC and 2013 Carnegie International

By Sean Sheffler, AIA, LEED AP Posted on November 21, 2013

There’s a playground not too far from our house where we spend a great deal of our time on the weekends. It’s a small park, well maintained by the township, with a covered pavilion, swings, and a basketball court. The centerpiece is a multi-level play structure, with monkey bars, ladders, and a spiral slide. In the eyes of my son, though, it becomes so much more. It’s a castle… a fort… a truck… a spaceship…. a cave. It’s limited only by his imagination, and inspired by last night’s bedtime story. The architect in me, that part of me that I simply can’t turn off, looks at that play structure with a discerning eye. It’s a simple thing, a kit of...

Read More
Review

New Art Landscapes speak with many voices

Blurring distinctions between art, architecture, and landscape

By Michelle Nermon, Assoc. AIA Posted on October 5, 2012

The new exhibit at the Heinz Architectural Center at Carnegie Museum of Art – White Cube, Green Maze: New Art Landscapes – is an abounding display of six art institutions – or “sites,” as curator  Raymund  Ryan prefers – from around the globe that challenge the traditional museum setting. All six diverse sites are connected in their rupturing of the  “white cube,”  ultimately blurring distinctions between art, architecture, and landscape. Chosen by Ryan, the featured sites are themselves substantial, and so is the exhibit, whose mixed media collection is punctuated by the featured photographs of renowned  Iwan  Baan (a recent recipient of the Gold Lion at this year’s Venice Biennale).  White Cube, Green Maze  also features work from  18 different...

Read More
Feature

Maya Lin: Intimate Landscape

Land, water, and bringing the outdoors in

By Kathryn Walsh, Assoc. AIA Posted on February 28, 2012

Architects and designers of Pittsburgh are all too familiar with the post-industrial landscape, weaving design through landscape and infrastructure. It is with Maya Lin‘s new exhibit at the Heinz Architectural Center of the Carnegie Museum of Art that we are given an opportunity to escape the built world and strip down to the intimacy of the land. In her new piece specifically made for Pittsburgh, “Pin River — Ohio (Allegheny and Monogahela),” individual custom-made pins are strategically tapped into a white gallery wall to honor the three rivers that merge at Pittsburgh.  Parts to the whole, we are presented with the impact of Pittsburgh’s connection to the larger geographic network. Having had a large influence on my academic days at...

Read More