2020 Award Winners

UNBUILT: Social Equity In Design Award

In Service to Refugees
Client: Hello Neighbor
Architecture Firm: Rothschild Doyno Collaborative

On a pro bono basis, our firm collaborated with Hello Neighbor, a local organization that serves refugee families, to support them in a programming, visioning, and stakeholder engagement process.

Their dream for a Clubhouse in which Pittsburghers and refugee families could build community together was envisioned in a series of collaborative workshops. Our volunteer efforts culminated in a 125-page design book that joined our two organizations to address social issues critical to the health of our city.

JURY COMMENTS:  In Service of Refugees demonstrates a series of collaborative strategies for bringing varied constituencies together to vision, plan and fundraise for a common cause.


UNBUILT: Honor Award 

Etna EcoDistrict Plan
Clients: Borough of Etna; Etna Community Organization; Etna Economic Development Corporation; Etna Neighborhood Association; Garden of Etna; Triboro Ecodistrict
Architecture Firm: evolveEA
Funding: Henry L. Hillman Foundation

The Borough of Etna has long held a vulnerable position – environmentally, economically, and in terms of social equity. The community faces food scarcity, under-investment, and serious environmental challenges, such as flooding and poor air quality, that limit positive outcomes. In response, the community came together to increase their resiliency with actions and architecture.

The Etna EcoDistrict focuses on six quality of life areas that are manifest in place: water, mobility, air, energy, food, and equity and through a series of catalytic projects, Etna has demonstrated their commitment to carbon neutrality by the year 2050.
The plan has already resulted in community cohesion that has proven durable during the covid pandemic.

The effort also yielded:
– a new non-profit to steward the plan,
– initiation of a Community Library in a historic building, and
– achievement of the world’s first EcoDistricts Certified Community.

JURY COMMENTS:  The Etna EcoDistrict Plan provides a set of invaluable tools that educate and enable communities to strive for a clean and equitable future. The proposed interventions offer an invigorating vision for otherwise residual, underutilized urban spaces.


SMALL: Social Equity In Design Award

Presley’s Place
Client: Allegheny County Airport Authority
Architecture Firm: Hayes Design Group – Architects
Contractor: Allegheny County Airport Authority
Engineers: A&F Engineering
Photographer: Matthew O’Haren Photography & Allegheny County Airport Authority
Consultants: The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, XYZ Custom, Inc., American Airlines, Magee Plastics, TFH – Special Needs Toys, Autism Connection of Pennsylvania

Air travel can be overwhelming and overstimulating. Our client wanted to support passengers who may be in need of calming or destressing at any point in their travel experience. Presenting ‘Presley’s Place’: a quiet, sensory-friendly space that provides an environment and equipment to help travelers with neurodevelopmental challenges, along with their travel companions, to re-group and transition peacefully to the next stage of their journey.

JURY COMMENTS:  Presley’s Place is a special place – one that reminds us that the spaces we inhabit help shape the way we see the world and designing for everyone makes our world bigger.


SMALL: Certificate of Merit

210 Indianola
Michael & Renee Gwin
Architecture Firm: Rothschild Doyno Collaborative
Engineer: Capstone Structural Engineering
Others: Santico, Inc; Bryn Enterprises; Team Laminates; Wolfe Metal Fab; Temper+Grit
Photographer: Ed Massery Photography & Jesse Riesmeyer

Creating a living environment that is integrated with its’ natural setting requires a strong response to the unique conditions of place. The awareness of the senses to the natural surrounding and circadian rhythms promote human health and wellbeing. This is fundamental to the conceptual planning and follow through in the home design. A strong environment awareness and biophilic design response enhances the idea of living with nature as part of it. The design works to minimize impact on the surrounding environmental conditions demonstrating a respect for it. The experience is supported through a planned sequence that transitions you into a living environment elevated within an existing tree canopy. The resulting home is one with exceptional performance, promotes health and wellbeing for the occupants, is in balance with its’ natural setting, and provides continual discovery and connection to our natural environment.

JURY COMMENTS:  210 Indianola residence stands out with strong consideration for sustainability and thoughtful relationship to the natural site.

SMALL: Certificate of Merit

Carlow University – University Commons Terrace
Client: Carlow University
Architecture Firm: LGA Partners
Contractor: Facility Support Services, LLC
Engineer: Keystone Structural Solutions
Other: Oxford Development Company
Photographer: Maya Elaine Photography, LLC

Carlow University asked our team to investigate architectural modifications to the University Commons building’s 5th-floor terrace after a tragic incident in 2017. The recently renovated building serves as the hub of the campus, and the 5th-floor is home to the President’s office. As such, any alterations needed to be carefully considered. While the existing steel railing was code compliant, the University wanted to enhance both the safety and usage of the deck. Our team designed a 7′ tall screen wall that alternated between tempered glass panels and perforated aluminum panels. The glass panels preserve the expansive urban views, and the perforated aluminum panels allow shading and air movement to the deck occupants. LGA collaborated with students from the University’s Department of Art to design each of the 43 one-of-a-kind panels around the University’s history, life, and mission.

JURY COMMENTS: The Carlow University Commons Terrace railing design is elevated by the successful collaboration with university art students who capture the spirit of their academic community.

SMALL: Certificate of Merit 

Winterton Street Residence
Architecture Firm: evolveEA
Photographer: Rosanne Martin

The Winterton Residence began as a small (1380 sf) house with cramped spaces, narrow doorways, and no functional entry. The modest 450sf addition and garage enabled a series of indoor and outdoor rooms, each with a distinct character and connection to the site.

An existing sunroom was rebuilt as a family room and expanded entry. The new room quietly supports a master suite addition that celebrates the simple roofline of the original house. The light-filled spaces integrate corner-free windows, expansive glass, and french doors that capture the morning sun and peer into the treetops. The original brick structure is creatively revealed in each renovated space, anchoring the new to the old.
The two-car garage carves into the hillside, shaping a protected outdoor room. The garage is designed as a family pavilion, with generous natural light and french doors that connect indoor and outdoor activities. The roof is accessible from the upper yard for a future deck, celebrating and using every part of the small property.

JURY COMMENTS: The Winterton Street Residence presents a thoughtful design approach and commitment to quality execution as evidences by the intimate, cared-for indoor and outdoor spaces.

: Social Equity In Design Award

University of Pittsburgh, Community Engagement Center – Homewood
Client: University of Pittsburgh
Architecture Firm: Strada
Contractor: Waller Corporation
Engineers: Atlantic Engineering
Photographer: Craig Thompson

In response to the University of Pittsburgh’s desire to make an even greater impact in the community, they are opening five urban Community Engagement Centers (CEC) aimed at building alliances within urban neighborhoods to collaboratively create stronger communities. Each center will be designed to focus on the specific needs, interests, and input of the neighboring communities that are aligned with the work of Pitt researchers, staff, and students. Strada recently completed Phase 1 of the Homewood CEC. What was once a vacant grocery store is now a 20,000 sq. ft. space that includes a science lab, a computer lab, first floor and lower level conference rooms, a seminar room, a classroom and an art gallery featuring work by local artists. These rooms are available for community and Pitt members to rent out.

JURY COMMENTS: Homewood Community Engagement Center models a bridge between academic institutions and the communities that surround them – an invaluable stream for sharing resource towards more equitable communities.


MEDIUM: Certificate of Merit

Center for Urban Education
Client: University of Pittsburgh
Architecture Firm: Rothschild Doyno Collaborative
Engineers: Claitman Engineering Associates, Inc.; Atlantic Engineering Services
Other: Workscape, Inc.
Photographer: Ed Massery Photography

The Center for Urban Education sought to extend the useful life of a large, antiquated building on the University of Pittsburgh’s campus by becoming a model for the feasible adaptive reuse of an office suite located inside. Constructed in an era where human health and wellness weren’t considered, Posvar Hall offered dark, disconnected, and disorienting interior spaces that didn’t reflect the evolving and nurturing culture of the University of Pittsburgh.

Working within the challenging parameters of an existing concrete structure, the Design Team aimed to make physical enhancements to the space that would boost the health & wellness of users. Natural light, warmth and activity were invited into the building, and spaces were reconfigured to reflect the open and diverse culture of the Center for Urban Education.

JURY COMMENTS: Center for Urban Education breaks away from the rigid geometry of the existing building and boldly resets its rules on spatial interaction within the academic setting.

MEDIUM: Certificate of Merit

Sunnyhill Unitarian Universalist Church of the South Hills
Client: Unitarian Universalist Church of the South Hills
Architecture Firm: Rothschild Doyno Collaborative
Contractor: Tedco Construction Corporation
Engineers: PVE Sheffler; Taylor Structural Engineers, Inc.; BDA Engineering
Other: Clear Story; Seech Industries
Photographer: Ed Massery Photography

The Congregation previously converted this single-family hilltop home into their place of worship. Due to suburban housing growth around the originally expansive English-cottage style estate, the site area had been reduced and constrained over time, which limited the options for expansion. The thriving Congregation needed an expanded facility that better represented their spirituality, beliefs, and community.

The new outward-focused sanctuary is a beacon atop Sunnyhill. The constrained site boundaries are overlapping and reconciled, like the Unitarian and Universalist religions had come together to create a unified whole. The resulting new site axis creates a dynamic space that unifies the geometry of the existing building and the site, harmonizes the manufactured steel and natural wood materials, and focuses the dual outward and inward unity of the Congregation. Additionally, the original inward-focused sanctuary was converted into a new Social Hall. These meaningful design drivers culminate in the uplifting and inspirational new Sanctuary.

JURY COMMENTS: Sunnyhill Unitarian Universalist Church presents a thoughtful juxtaposition between old and new, inside and outside. The modest material palette combined with elegant form are a breath of fresh air.

MEDIUM: Honor Award 

Argo AI Palo Alto Office
Client: Argo AI
Architecture Firm: mossArchitects
Contractor: XL Construction
Engineers: Therma; Redwood Electric; Structural Engineers, Inc.; Eco Fire; Babich Acoustic
Other: McFarland Kistler & Associates, Inc.
Photographers: Marco Zecchin & Architecture Firm

Located in Palo Alto, California, the design for Pittsburgh technology company, Argo AI’s new west coast office focused on creating a beautiful, flexible, and highly collaborative space for employees, while providing connections from within the office to the building’s exterior landscaping and natural light. The challenge was to integrate the company’s various engineering, laboratory, and vehicle testing teams with highly specialized technical requirements alongside a variety of gathering and collaboration spaces while maintaining natural light and views.

JURY COMMENTS: Argo AI shines with its elegant utility and fluid yet clearly defined spatial logic. The steel armature performs on several levels and complements the project’s light, open and welcoming space. Social and work areas connect seamlessly and extend into the landscape unencumbered by peripheral offices. The resulting experience exemplifies an equitable workspace designed with people in mind.

LARGE: Certificate of Merit 

Sandstone Quarry Apartments
Client: Trek Development & Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh
Architecture Firm: Rothschild Doyno Collaborative
Contractor: Mistick Construction
Engineers: Hope Furrer Associates; Iams Consulting; Langan; AWK Consulting Engineers
Landscape Architect: LaQuatra Bonci
Other: Jackson Clark Partners
Photographer: Ed Massery Photography

Seeking to improve the quality of life for their residents, the Housing Authority engaged the development team to re-envision the Allegheny Dwellings Community on multiple sites over time with the goal of connecting to the surrounding community with a mixed-income development over multiple phases.

Sandstone Quarry, the first phase of development, transforms the isolated “barracks” style housing into a connected site with apartment and townhomes that take advantage of the spectacular city
views opening up the site with a central park space.

JURY COMMENTS: Sandstone Quarry Apartments design presents a fresh vision for the mixed-income site. The reconfigured building orientation helps establish new connections and potential for vibrant community development.

LARGE: Certificate of Merit 

TechMill 41
Architecture Firm: Rothschild Doyno Collaborative
Contractor: PJ Dick
Engineers: PVE; Atlantic Engineering Services; Allen & Shariff Engineering
Photographer: Ed Massery Photography

TechMill 41 is a speculative office building that relates strongly to the unique contexts that surround the building and connects to the rich industrial heritage of the former steel mill site. The project combines new construction with the renovation and adaptive reuse of a former industrial Machine Shop. The site is a former brownfield, adjacent to the 40th Street Bridge and Allegheny River. The site is also adjacent to the iconic structural frame of the Bay 41 Public Plaza. The building rises from the ashes of Pittsburgh’s gritty industrial past. The memory of the industrial heritage of the site became a powerful inspiration for the design. Forms and materials relate to the former steel mill buildings and connects history with the present.

JURY COMMENTS: TechMill 41 Office Building relishes in the industrial past along the Alleghany River while introducing a contemporary building language and new density of use for the site. Efforts to integrate textures, artifacts and parts of old buildings with new interventions recontextualize the entire development.

LARGE: Honor Award

Yale Science Building
Client: Yale University
Architecture Firm: Stantec
Affiliated Architect: Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects
Contractor: Dimeo Construction Company
Engineers: Stantec; LeMessurier; Haley & Aldrich; Green House Engineering
Other: Reed Hilderbrand; Acentech; RWDI; Genesys Entering
Photographer: Jeff Goldberg/Esto

Yale Science Building (YSB), a new 282,000 SF science facility, brings revitalization, connectivity, and a true sense of community to Science Hill. Through this project, once scattered science programs are consolidated under one roof and re-imagines the former Gibbs Laboratory site. The science building’s aesthetic blends with the existing context while enhancing connections to neighboring facilities. Inside, the building’s design facilitates a collaborative atmosphere through contiguity and accessibility. Modular, flexible, and reconfigurable by design, the labs and supporting infrastructure allow for future modification with minimal downtime. Utilizing off-site prefabrication as a design tool, the team improved safety, sustainability, and the overall building quality while also reducing maintenance requirements and providing for future flexibility as research needs change. Utilizing data driven energy design strategies the team was able to meet Yale’s goal of creating the most energy efficient lab building on campus. The design successfully meets Yale’s goals for an interdisciplinary science facility that creates communities, plans for change, and saves energy.

JURY COMMENTS: The Yale Science Building design demonstrates high degree of integration in addressing the project’s communal, operational and environmental goals. The elegant, understated aesthetics of the exterior envelope and interior spaces reflect the seemingly effortless weaving of function and performance. The project presents a holistic approach and a higher standard when addressing the needs of the scientific community.

LARGE: Silver Award 

MuseumLab at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
Client: Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
Architecture Firm: Perfido Weiskopf Wagstaff + Goettel (PWWG Architects)
Affiliate Architect: Koning Eizenberg Architecture
Contractor: Mascaro Construction
Engineering: Iams Consulting, LLC; Atlantic Engineering Services; Babich Acoustics; Langan
Other: BranchPattern; Clio Consulting
Photographer: Eric Staudenmaier

MuseumLab reincarnates a historic Carnegie Library as a testing ground for teen learning. The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh developed the ambitious project with Manchester Academic Charter School to exchange ideas between the informal world of museum learning and the formal world of classroom education. MuseumLab inspires discovery and immersive learning with studios, maker labs, and gallery spaces offering access to cutting edge art, tech, and making for 8-14 year olds. Second and third floors house the charter middle school and venues for community events, and the ground floor has incubator space for non-profits.

The re-use applies the hybrid design approach of a “beautiful ruin,” blending old and new to honor the building’s history and importance to the community. The result is a striking architectural montage of crisp, fully modernized spaces, and spaces incorporating historic features. The project set a new standard for Universal Design, achieved LEED Gold v4 Certification, and exceeded Architecture 2030 goals.

JURY COMMENTS: The MuseumLab stands out for its unusual approach to celebrating found architecture. The project leaves the patina of the existing building edifice exposed, which sets the stage for creating a world of discovery and imagination. The playful integration of artistic and functional elements conveys the resourcefulness and creativity of the project team, which in turn translates into the distinct ethos of the project overall.


Allegheny Health Network – AGH Academic Cancer Institute 
Client: Allegheny Health Network
Architecture Firm: IKM Incorporated 
Contributors: Massaro Construction; FMRW Engineering; Gateway Engineers; Oxford Development
Photographer: Ed Massery 

The AHN Cancer Institute has become the new home for its academic cancer program. A home that embraces and supports a world-class clinical program in a patient focused, caring setting at its historic Northside location. The new cancer center streamlines and enhances cutting edge patient care by consolidating cancer services in a singular location, dedicated to providing an unparalleled patient experience in a welcoming, hopeful, and healing environment.

Cancer treatment can be a physically exhausting, emotionally draining trial. Subsequently, the primary design challenge is to house technologically complex spaces dedicated to advanced care in a compassionate and calming building designed to support the patient and family through this trial.

The caregivers who work in the facility are passionate about their work and the service that they provide their patients. Their desire was for the building to be an energetic symbol of hope: a dynamic reminder that there is a life above and beyond this illness. They wanted this facility to speak of hope and joy.


Ars Moriendi
Architect: Jason Andrews

View the project summary here.