Dossier

Michael McDonnell, AIA

AIA Pittsburgh's 2016 President!

Name: Michael P. McDonnell, AIA Firm: IKM Incorporated Family: Son Luke – 14 years old in 8th grade Years in practice: 25 years Education: Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture Your first job: Lifeguard for the Recreation Department in Davenport, Iowa Project you’re proudest of: The Ice Rink & Fountain at PPG Place. It transformed an otherwise unused public space. What’s the best part of your job? The best part of my job is that every day presents something new. New design challenges, new technology, new clients.  I never really know what the day will hold until I am in the middle of it. It drives me forward with excitement. What would you change about your job? I wish I could change the timeline projects typically have today. There...

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Feature

Building A Leader

An Interview with Danielle Jones, AIAS

By Becky Spevack Posted on November 23, 2015

Danielle Jones, AIAS is the Midwest Quadrant Director for the American Institute of Architecture Students who originally hails from Western Pennsylvania. She has also been selected as the AIAS representative for the 2016 AIA National Honor Awards jury. Columns caught up with Jones over the summer to ask her about her experiences, both as a student and as an active member of AIAS.  How did you get involved with AIAS? How would you describe your experiences with the organization? Any surprises? I became involved with AIAS my freshman year of Undergraduate at Kent State University. A very influential classmate named Belana Antar came to me the second week of school and encouraged me to attend meetings and become a member. After...

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dossier

Miguel Rivera, FAIA

Meet Another Design Pittsburgh Jury Member

Name: Miguel A Rivera, FAIA Firm: Miro Rivera Architects, in Austin, Texas Family: married with 2 girls Years in practice: 26 Education: Master in Architecture, Columbia University Your first job: Luis Flores Architect in Puerto Rico Project you’re proudest of: Lifeworks, Austin Building you’d like to tear down: All Office Depots. What’s the best part of your job? Making people lives better. What would you change about your job? The way we get the jobs. What have you always wanted to tell your clients? Trust your architect, make a difference. What’s the next big architectural trend? Going away from trends. Advice to young architects: Listen, travel, patience. The one thing you wish they’d teach you in school: Psychology. Code/zoning requirement I’d change if given the chance: The...

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review

An Inclusive City, for All Ages

Gil Penalosa on How to Craft a Welcoming City

By Bea Spolidoro, Assoc. AIA Posted on October 29, 2015

On the evening of Sunday, October 19th, the Green Building Alliance and the Design Center of Pittsburgh organized a Community Forum at WESA-FM on the South Side with guest speaker Gil Penalosa. Penalosa is the former Commissioner of Parks of Bogotá, and now Chair of the Board at 880cities, a Toronto-based non-profit organization. The goal of 880cities is to promote walking and biking as activities, and urban parks, trails, and other public spaces as great places for all. Penalosa was in our town to be the keynote speaker at the APA-PA Chapter 2015 Annual Conference. Irina Zhorov from WESA interviewed him during the Community Forum. Penalosa started with a summary of the troubles of contemporary cities, and the global desire...

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feature

Design Pittsburgh 2015

View the winners of our juried competition

By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on October 22, 2015

ARCHITECTURE: Honor Award PROJECT: Uptown Lofts on Fifth CLIENT: ACTION-Housing, Inc. ARCHITECTURE FIRM: FortyEighty Architecture ENGINEERS: Langan Engineering & Environmental Services, Inc.; Keystone Structural Solutions; Iams Consulting, LLC CONTRACTORS: Mosites Construction Company PHOTOGRAPHER: FortyEighty Architecture DESCRIPTION: The Uptown Lofts on Fifth are two new multi-unit apartment buildings constructed on opposite sides of Fifth Avenue in Uptown, a neighborhood of Pittsburgh that suffers from steady population decline due to a lack of adequate housing. The developer for the project, ACTION-Housing, Inc., serves a mission to empower people to build secure and self-sufficient lives through decent, affordable housing, and has worked to demonstrate the importance of energy efficiency through various projects. This project was designed to allow for a comparison of the...

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Dossier

James Lord II, AIA

Meet the lead juror for Design Awards 2015

Name: James C. Lord II, AIA Firm: KGA Architecture Family: Married with 4 children Years in practice: 30 years Education: M.Arch and BS from the University of Michigan Your first job: Running blueprints while in college. Projects you’re proudest of: UNLV College of Health Sciences and The Alexander Dawson School at Rainbow Mountain. Most embarrassing moment: Answering the last question. Building you’d like to tear down: Any addition to one of our designs that we didn’t do. What’s the best part of your job? The creative people I get to meet. What would you change about your job? More time to draw. What have you always wanted to tell your clients? Trust your Architect. What’s the most annoying thing architects...

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Feature

Thoughts on the Recent Hire of BIG…

Thoughts on the Recent Hire of BIG as Part of the Civic Arena Redevelopment Team

A Letter from AIA Pittsburgh’s President, Alan Schlossberg, AIA and AIA Pittsburgh’s Executive Director, Anne J. Swager, Hon. AIA As you might imagine, we get quite a bit of feedback when an “out-of-town” architect is hired for a large local project. When this happens, we are often asked to “take a stand” against this practice. While we share some of the frustration many feel, it is perhaps too simple a reaction. We know the architectural talent in Pittsburgh is nothing short of extraordinary. Most in our design community work extensively throughout the region, but many also work across the country and around the globe without restriction. The AIA will always advocate for good design, informed by a deep understanding of...

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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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Review

The Story of Collapse

The Art of Seth Clark

By Bea Spolidoro, Assoc. AIA Posted on August 18, 2015

The first time I viewed Seth Clark’s work, the intern architect in me felt threatened. What loss and shame in all of these collapsing architectures! Clark’s collages, though, are too mesmerizing to be dismissed that easily, and I couldn’t resist that attractive pull of something that scared me. I decided to learn more and set up an interview with Clark, who has been named the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts 2015 Emerging Artist of the Year. I started with a joke about the fact that, initially, he could be seen as a nemesis of architects, and believe it or not, that broke the ice. While also working as a graphic artist, his installations and collages focus on collapsing buildings and...

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Taking Time to Read

Great Books to Introduce Kids to Architecture

By Becky Spevack Posted on July 16, 2015

The school year may be over, but reading is a year-round activity. Take some time this summer to introduce your kiddo, or grandchild, or even a neighborhood youngster to the world of architecture via one of these lovely little books about what’s involved in being an architect. IGGY PECK, ARCHITECT by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts Iggy Peck loves architecture, loves to build. But his second grade teacher has a differing opinion and insists on no architecture in her classroom! A field trip into the woods and a collapsed footbridge lead young Iggy to imagine and then construct a solution that has his teacher giving the built environment a second chance. (Also by Andrea Beaty, check out Rosie Revere,...

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