Dossier

Celeste Allen Novak, AIA

Learn more about this sustainability-minded juror

Name: Celeste Allen Novak, AIA, LEED AP Firm:  Celeste Allen Novak Architect Family:  Husband, 2 sons, 2 grandchildren Years in practice: 22 (but…. daughter of an architect so really all of my life.) Education:  M.Arch, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1984; CEW Scholar; Bachelor of Architecture, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1982; Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts, College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota 1973; Georgetown University – AIA Leadership certificate program Your first job: As an architect – with Yamasaki and Associates. Also, my very first job was running blueprints (remember those) for my father, the architect. I can still smell the ammonia. Project you’re proudest of: Writings for McGraw-Hill, primarily on rainwater harvesting, Voices for Earth Justice...

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Feature

The State of Sustainability

The challenge of designing for the future

By Deborah Knox Posted on September 19, 2012

Sustainable design isn’t just about doing what is right. It’s smart, current, and for design professionals, has added an important layer to their work. The clear consensus is that green design adds value, but how professionals integrate sustainable design and use LEED certification varies through the region’s architectural community. This brief analysis highlights some of the issues and projects in the region. Pittsburgh is second in the nation with 20 LEED certified buildings, most of them commercial, which is something to be proud of, but the commercial sector is still part of the problem. According to the Pittsburgh Climate Protection Initiative, the commercial sector is responsible for over half of the total CO2 equivalent emissions, which is a far greater...

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Dossier

Craig L. Wilkins, AIA

A bit about this Design Pittsburgh juror and his obsessions

Name: Craig L. Wilkins, PhD, AIA, ARA Firm: Detroit Community Design Center at the University of Michigan Years in practice: 25 years, more or less Education: B.Arch: University of Detroit / MS: Columbia University (NY) / PhD: Univ. of Minnesota Your first job: Mail room at the 1st National Bank of Chicago. Project you’re proudest of: The next one. Most embarrassing moment: Being juuust a bit intoxicated at the design portion of the registration exam. Building you’d like to tear down: Detroit Train Station Building you’d like to renovate into something else and why? Detroit Packard Plant. Great spaces deserve second lives. What have you always wanted to tell your clients? Uhm…yes, your cookies are indeed great, but I’d much...

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Dossier

Matthew Brind’Amour

Meet this residential architect

Name: Matt Brind’Amour Firm: Brind’Amour Design Years in practice: 6 Education: ‘06 B Arch –  The Pennsylvania State University w/ Honors in Architecture from the Schreyer Honors College Your first job: Carter & Burgess in Baltimore designing CVS drug stores throughout the D.C. metro area and beyond. Project you’re proudest of: Laurel Mountain Christian Camp.  This was a large project taking an existing Girl Scouts Camp and renovating some of the buildings and building 10 new cabins in addition to a beautiful new dining hall and other support buildings and site elements.  The natural, picturesque site sits in the heart of the Laurel Highlands and the buildings are really a great addition to the locale, with nods to an adirondack...

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Feature

The Architects of Healing

Recognizing the designs, and designers, who have memorialized 9/11

By Becky Spevack Posted on August 23, 2012

In each lifetime, it seems there is an event, often some tragic happening, in which time stands still.  From this moment we can focus our lives, pinpointing our exact location and reaction. We refer to life pre- and post-event. For many, including my parents, the first such tragedy was the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Who among us has not viewed the famous Zapruder film that so graphically captures those fatal few seconds? At the time, a home video was still a rarity; technological advances have made witnessing such moments a common occurrence. I can still recall watching the live broadcast of the fall of the Berlin Wall, as people scrambled over that which had been a symbol of...

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Book Review

Road Signs

Another young architect takes a less traditional path

By Sean Sheffler, AIA, LEED AP Posted on July 30, 2012

Much has been made in recent years over the graying of the profession, and how the AIA must find a way to engage and encourage younger professionals in order to rejuvenate architectural practice.  The Baby Boomers are expected to begin retiring in droves; projections for the next ten years have shown that for every one Gen-Y member that enters the workforce, as many as five Boomers will leave it, taking their knowledge and experience with them.  In other words, the size of our workforce – and its collective knowledge – is shrinking dramatically.  The AIA has dubbed this “the Associate Crisis,” as if identifying the problem and giving it a name will somehow lead to a solution.  Eric Cesal’s plight...

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Dossier

Dossier: Paul Rosenblatt, AIA

"Never lose your creativity."

Name: Paul Rosenblatt Firm: Springboard Design Family: Wife – Artist Petra Fallaux; Children – Lucas (14) , Ella (13) Years in practice: 28 Education: B.A. Yale University, M.Arch. Yale School of Architecture Project you are proudest of: The tiny spare room I converted into my late father’s library – he loved it. What is the best part of your job: Working with my clients. What is the most annoying thing that architects do:  I hate it when architects complain about clients and contractors. I really try not to! Advice to young architects: Never lose your creativity. The one thing you wish they would have taught in school: Accounting. Architectural quote to practice by: “Every wall is a door.” My wife...

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Feature

The Art of Experimentation

Where art and architecture meet

By Deborah Knox Posted on July 20, 2012

Experimentation is an essential part of the design process, but is it a secret activity carried out by a team of designers huddled in the studio, or an open process, supported by the client? What makes the magic happen? Ultimately it can happen either way. Ideally it incorporates a little bit of both. EXPERIMENTATION AND VISION Known for his wildly imaginative designs, Burt Hill’s James O’Toole, Assoc. AIA may be best known for the steelworkers sculpture at the Hot Metal Bridge and the two dinosaurs he designed for Dino Days a few years ago — the “Tonkasaurus” and the winged Da Vinci T-Rex, sponsored by his former employer Astorino. His experimentation and creativity comes from an emotional place deep inside....

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Feature

Mentor By Design

ACE Mentor Programs of America

By Emily Putas Posted on June 27, 2012

What is the best way to mentor high school students in the design and construction fields?  Get them involved. That is the goal of the ACE Mentor Program of America, Inc.  ACE stands for Architecture, Construction, and Engineering – the primary disciplines responsible for creating buildings.  According to the ACE website (www.acementor.org), “The program’s mission is to engage, excite, and enlighten high school students to pursue careers in the integrated construction industry through mentoring; and to support their continued advancement in the industry through scholarship and grants.” Pittsburgh’s chapter, now in its fourth year, is working with 60 area high school students and partnering with dozens of industry professionals to continue the ACE mission right here in Allegheny County.  In...

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Book Review

Now What? A Challenge to Today’s Urbanists

By Eric R. Osth, AIA LEED AP Posted on June 21, 2012

From the moment Dhiru Thadani’s book, The Language of Towns & Cities: A Visual Dictionary landed on my desk, I have been enjoying it immensely and making use of it regularly. It really did ‘land’ there – all 804 pages and 8 pounds, 11.5 ounces of it. The book is nothing short of a life’s work, with robust contributions from some of the many accomplished practitioners, an inspiring forward by Leon Krier, and an introduction by Andres Duany. The lavish praise on the book by the 2011 David Lewis Lecturer is well deserved. So my question for my fellow practitioners is: Now what? This book is very well organized for easy use. The ‘encyclopedic’ format allows it to serve as...

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