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...
Design Pittsburgh 2016
View All of the Winners of Our Juried Competition
By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on October 27, 2016
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...
AIA+2030: Climate Responsive Design at Chatham University’s Eden Hall
A Recap of the Most Recent AIA+2030 Session
By George Rieke, AIA and Christian Pegher, AIA Posted on July 19, 2016
The summer evening was idyllic. Not too hot, with a slight breeze from the northwest and white fluffy clouds. Over 30 participants stood at the highest point in Allegheny County, absorbing the fresh air and abundant sunlight, experiencing the inception of tomorrow’s college campus: Chatham University’s Eden Hall. The college was the host of AIA Pittsburgh’s third session of the AIA+2030 Professional Series, focusing on “Climate Responsive Design,” and the venue was perfect. We would start with a baseline, including terminology, strategies, climatology, technical applications, and case studies, presented by Christine Mondor, AIA of evolveEA. Next, a very informative history lesson from Charles Rosenblum of Carnegie Mellon University was presented. He would explain through local and regional cases how people...
Rising to the Challenge
The AIA+2030 Professional Series, Session IX Review
By Melanie Como Harris, AIA, LEED AP BD+C Posted on April 23, 2014
Attendees of the AIA+2030 sessions have, up to this point, met at the Bruno Building for an intimate knowledge exchange. However, Session IX – Hand-Off + Staying in Shape – took a provocative turn. This time around, class was held on the Phipps Conservatory campus. The first half of the evening consisted of presentations by John Greenwald, President of Mechanical Operations & Consulting (MOC), and Jason Wirick, Director of Facilities and Sustainability Management at Phipps. The second half of the evening involved a tour of Phipps’ newer buildings from the facilities operator’s point-of-view. Together, the unique learning experience enlivened the often mundane topic of building operations and maintenance. Series moderator Marc Mondor, AIA kicked off the session by introducing John...
Rising to the Challenge
The AIA+2030 Professional Series, Session V Review
By Melanie Como Harris, LEED AP Posted on November 10, 2013
The clever title—Aggressively Passive: Employing Passive Systems for Load Reduction—established a focus for AIA+2030 Session V. The evening’s speakers succeeded in presenting information on the topic from a number of angles. The end result was a well-rounded curriculum providing an approach to passive system design. Here is a review of those talks. First up was Khee Poh Lam, PhD, RIBA who began the evening with a rousing discussion of bioclimatic design, building performance mandates, and building simulation. Dr. Lam purports that energy efficiency is a proactive task that begins with an understanding of the site’s relative conditions. To demonstrate, he presented several examples of indigenous structures in extreme locations around the globe. The key to passive design is to control...
Rising to the Challenge
The AIA+2030 Professional Series, Sessions III & IV Review
By Melanie Como Harris, LEED AP Posted on October 9, 2013
The fifth installment of AIA Pittsburgh’s AIA + 2030 educational series will take place this week, building upon the contents of its predecessors. All of the sessions thus far have been inspiring while featuring a variety of useful strategies and tools to implement in our projects. Given that the two most recent sessions provided the knowledge base upon which Thursday’s session will build, it is worth reviewing those previous sessions. Session III – Accentuate the Positive: Climate Responsive Design Held back in June, the evening started off with a presentation from Christine Mondor, AIA of evolveEA. Her approach to climate responsive design is rooted in three elements: energy efficiency, thermal comfort, and climate-adaptive responsiveness & resilience. Reinforcing the strategies of...
Walking the Walk
Walkable City, by Jeff Speck
By David Julian Roth, AIA, LEED AP BD+C Posted on August 1, 2013
Mr. Speck thinks that our profession can be obsessed with “gizmo green”, specifying “sustainable” products that often have an insignificant impact on the carbon footprint when compared to a building’s location. It makes little sense to him that we design a LEED-certified building that you must drive to. Architects can’t keep doing what we’ve been doing and just adding a solar panel, wind turbine, bamboo floor, or whatever. Location trumps design.Transportation planner Dan Malouff is quoted here, putting the situation into simple terms: “LEED architecture without good urban design is like cutting down the rainforest using a hybrid-powered bulldozer.” I have been using the real estate web site mentioned in the book to evaluate project locations for my clients. Walkscore.com’s...
Rising to the Challenge
The AIA+2030 Professional Series, Session II Review
By Melanie Como Harris, LEED AP Posted on June 13, 2013
On the third Thursday of May, members of the architectural community gathered at the Bruno Building downtown to further their knowledge-base on high-performance building design. The class was the second of ten sessions in the AIA+2030 professional educational series, which offers strategies towards achieving the 2030 Challenge of carbon-neutral building operations by the year 2030. The 2030 Challenge aims to achieve carbon-neutrality through a combination of design strategies, technologies and systems, and off-site renewable energy that significantly reduce fossil fuel use and green gas emissions. Session II, entitled Getting to 60: The Power of Targets + Load Reduction, featured presentations from architect George Halkias, AIA from Stantec and engineer Alan Traugott from CJL Engineering, and Karen Butler from the Environmental...
Wright or Wrong?
Green Architecture: The Art of Architecture in the Age of Ecology by James Wines
By David Julian Roth, AIA, LEED AP BD+C Posted on May 15, 2013
“Life is right, and the architect is wrong,” said Le Corbusier toward the end of his life. He may have been pleased however, to see his Paris Plan Voisin vision fulfilled in downtown Pittsburgh’s Gateway Center. A green park was planned within this urban space. Through an integration of nature and architecture, we learn about both in a comfortable public place. Tall trees and a central fountain soften three 1950s modernist-style buildings, bridging time and technology. The matured landscape has become symbolic of our city’s green leadership over the last fifty years. “The architect must be a prophet; if he can’t see at least ten years ahead then don’t call him an architect.” – Frank Lloyd Wright During the 20th...
The 2030 Challenge
Buildings, Energy, and Climate Change
By Marc Mondor, AIA, LEED Faculty Posted on April 7, 2013
IT’S ABOUT ENERGY As a species the exploration for, and generation and transmission of energy is by far the most environmentally destructive thing that humans do. Yet the reason we perform this operation with such zeal lies in the fact that we are an energy-hungry species. Energy demand is not only at all-time highs, but will continue to grow. Even if we mentally outsource energy or are focused on living wirelessly, we are all a part of this system. We are an integral part of our nation’s, and indeed our planet’s, voracious appetite for energy. IT’S GOOD TO SAVE The environmental imperative for saving energy comes in the reduction of emissions from the combustion of fuels. According to the U.S....