Design Pittsburgh 2011

See the winners of our juried competition

By The AIA Posted on January 27, 2012

How it Works

Each year, AIA Pittsburgh hosts the Design Awards – a juried design competition open to AIA members and firms whose principal(s) are members of AIA Pittsburgh, or any member of any AIA chapter across the country who has a project in the 10 county area represented by AIA Pittsburgh. All projects must have at least one AIA Pittsburgh architect on the project team. All submissions for the AIA Pittsburgh Design Awards Competition can only be submitted by an AIA Pittsburgh architect. The mission of the awards is to recognize and honor architects and designers, and promote excellence, innovation, and achievement in the craft of architecture.

Last year AIA Pittsburgh revamped the Design Award submission categories, introducing three new categories which continue to compel and excite – Design + Innovation, Historic Preservation, and the Young Architects’ Studio Competition, which asks young professionals to address a specific regional design challenge. Awards were given in the categories of Architecture, Interior Architecture, Regional & Urban Design, Historic Preservation, Timeless, and the Young Architects’ Studio Competition.

What do the awards mean?

Honor Awards are granted for overall excellence to projects in Architecture, Regional & Urban Design, Interior Architecture, and the Young Architects Studio Competition. Certificates of Merit recognize an outstanding aspect of a project such as detailing or adaptive reuse. Architectural Detail/Craftsmanship, Design + Innovation, Historic Preservation, and Timeless projects are only eligible for Awards of Excellence. The Timeless category is for projects that are at least 25 years old and were originally designed by an AIA Pittsburgh member.
The Green Design Citation, presented by SOTA Construction, recognizes projects that have integrated green building strategies and practices into the design to reduce environmental impact. This award also recognizes the growing impact that buildings have on human health, worker productivity, and environmental and regional prosperity. Projects in the Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Historic Preservation categories are eligible for Green Design Citations.
The jury may award as many or as few Honor Awards, Certificates of Merit, or Awards of Excellence as they see fit.


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ARCHITECTURE: Honor Award and Green Design Citation

PROJECT: Springfield Literacy Center
CLIENT: Springfield School District
ARCHITECTURE FIRM: STANTEC, Inc. (formerly Burt Hill)
PROJECT TEAM: Rob Pillar, AIA, LEED AP; Michael Corb, AIA ; Bob Gaskill, AIA, LEED AP
PHOTOGRAPHER: Jeffery Totaro

DESCRIPTION: The design of the Springfield Literary Center is singularly focused on support of the district’s innovative literary curriculum. The site is an oasis of nature in the midst of a densely developed suburb, and the link to this natural environment was continuously utilized to blur the lines that traditionally divide teaching and learning spaces. Diverse student learning styles are supported through non-traditional learning elements such as extended classrooms, a treehouse classroom, the outdoor amphitheater, green roof classroom, and the front porch.

JURY COMMENTS: The innovative design of this building supports learning for Kindergarten though 1st grade. This large building successfully breaks down into smaller spaces without a feeling fragmented. The jury especially appreciated the material and finishes which help actively engage the outside.


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PROJECT: Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, East Liberty Branch
CLIENT: Barbara Mistick, Director
PROJECT TEAM: Anne Chen, AIA, LEED AP; Gary Carlough, AIA; Jonathan Eggert, AIA; Amanda Markovic; Stephen Mrdjenovich; Billy Almon
CONTRACTOR: Rycon Construction, INC.
PHOTOGRAPHER: Massery Photography, Inc.

DESCRIPTION: The most recent branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh to be significantly upgraded, this project fully renovated the existing 33,000 sf, 1967 facility as well as create a 9,000 sf addition, allowing the branch to be dramatically reshaped to improve the library’s ability to provide services. The existing building was completely transformed, removing its uninsulated, single glazed envelope to enlarge and give shape to a building, which would have a greater visual presence when approached from all nearby streets.

JURY COMMENTS: This skillful adaptive reuse project successfully blends contextually with its neighbors while bringing vitality to the street. Its graphic liveliness emphasizes that libraries are the public space of this century.


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PROJECT: The Emerald Art Glass House
CLIENT: Withheld at Owner’s Request
PROJECT TEAM: Eric Fisher, AIA, LEED AP; Eli Rosenwasser; Anthony Meave, AIA
CONTRACTOR: Bob Zielinski

DESCRIPTION: The Emerald Art Glass House is a site-sensitive, cantilevered home for the owners of a glass company, floating above the manufacturing facility like a foreman’s shack.  The home’s industrial forms and steel siding relate to the factory below while a living roof helps connect the house visually to the slopes above, all while using what s often considered “wasted” space in a dense urban neighborhood.

JURY COMMENTS: This project takes “living above the shop” to a new extreme.  It’s industrial feel and grittiness recall Pittsburgh’s industrial past.  The architect has very skillfully turned “Pittsburgh steel” into a welcoming home.


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PROJECT: Mountbatten Nanotechnology Electronics Research Complex
CLIENT: University of Southampton
PROJECT TEAM: F. Jeffrey Murray, AIA, LEED AP; Adam May; Bob McDunn, AIA; Chris Radovic; Jason Chen
CONTRACTOR: Bovis Lend Lease Limited
PHOTOGRAPHER: Peter Cook, Photographer

DESCRIPTION: A simple concept for a complex program, the design offers a wide range of spatial experiences, both internally and externally.

JURY COMMENTS: This is a beautiful and sculptural building made up of an amazing collage of parts that successfully coalesce into one structure.  The architect skillfully balanced those areas that needed to be open with those that needed to be closed and succeeded in creating an identity between those two dichotomies.


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ARCHITECTURE: Certificate of Merit

PROJECT: Erie Art Museum Addition and Renovation
CLIENT: John Vanco, Director
PROJECT TEAM: Anne Chen, AIA, LEED AP; Gary Carlough, AIA; Jonathan Golli; Matt Fineout;
Matthew Manzo; Stephen Mrdjenovich; Adam Beauliew; Jen Bee, AIA; Swee Hong Ng; Kyle Sawchuck
CONTRACTOR: Spaulding Banks Project Management
PHOTOGRAPHER: David Joseph Photography

DESCRIPTION: The renovation and expansion of the Erie Art Museum redefines the museum as a destination for the community.  Located in downtown Erie, the project provides new spaces for permanent and traveling exhibitions, a multipurpose performance and program space, a cafe, and an outdoor “living room/sculpture garden”, all fostering diverse programs.

JURY COMMENTS: Adding to the existing museum presented quite a challenge, which the architect successfully realized by wrapping a large arm around the building. This project is both contextual and a notable object building as an art museum should be.


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ARCHITECTURE: Certificate of Merit

PROJECT: Swanson School of Engineering / Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation
CLIENT: University of Pittsburgh
PROJECT TEAM: Gary Carlough, AIA; Jeff King, AIA; Mick McNutt, AIA; Jonathan Eggert, AIA; Justin Weaver; Kyle Sawchuck; Stephen Mrdjenovich
CONTRACTOR: Addition: Mascaro Construction Company, L.P.  Renovation: P.J. Dick Incorporated
PHOTOGRAPHER: Massery Photography, Inc.

DESCRIPTION: The goal of the project was to transform Benedum Hall, the 40-year old home to the School of Engineering, into a state-of-the-art facility emphasizing collaborative research efforts in the developing fields of nanotechnology and bioengineering.  To do so, 175,000 sf (seven stories) of laboratory, classroom, administrative, and library space were renovated, while simultaneously a 22,000 sf addition was designed and built to provide a new home for the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation.

JURY COMMENTS: This addition is both brawny and very elegant.  The distinctive interior space works well with the outside and activates the building at the street level.


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ARCHITECTURE: Certificate of Merit

PROJECT: Three PNC Plaza
ARCHITECTURE FIRM: Gensler and Astorino
PROJECT TEAM: Beth Campbell, AIA; Doug Gensler, AIA; Steve Weindel, AIA; Hao Ko, AIA, LEED AP; Ben Tranel, AIA, LEED AP, Louis D. Astorino, FAIA
CONTRACTOR: P.J. Dick Incorporated

DESCRIPTION: Building on the client’s commitment to environmental responsibility and green construction, Three PNC Plaza was designed to stimulate growth in the downtown retail and business core and encourage a denser urban center, utilize existing infrastructure, and create a healthy building for both occupants and the environment.

JURY COMMENTS: This is a beautiful curtain wall building with a very elegant skin.  It is an auspicious addition to the city.


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ARCHITECTURE: Certificate of Merit

PROJECT: Lola House
CLIENT: Michelle Yanefski
PROJECT TEAM: Andrew Moss, AIA and Michelle Yanefski
CONTRACTOR: Flynn Construction
PHOTOGRAPHER: Snyder Photography

DESCRIPTION: This new single-family residency was built on a vacant site in a dense working-class neighborhood.  The design, while modern, reflects the industrial roots of the community through the use of recycled materials and salvaged items.

JURY COMMENTS: This house creates an energy and tension as things pull in and out of it, which humanize it without domesticating it.  The jury enjoyed seeing a house with a modern vocabulary inserted into an old neighborhood that remains contextual and a good neighbor.


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ARCHITECTURE: Certificate of Merit

PROJECT: The Avenue Apartments
CLIENT: Ralph A. Falbo, Inc.; Penrose Development, Inc.

PROJECT TEAM: Dan Rothschild, AIA, LEED AP; Ken Doyno, AIA, LEED AP; Jeffrey Kalina, Assoc. AIA; Geoff Campbell, AIA LEED AP; Daniel Tse, Assoc. AIA; Drew Mosher, Assoc. AIA; Jennifer Matthews, Assoc. AIA; Justin Losego, Assoc. AIA; Kate Tunney, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP; Melanie Buzgan-Dower, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP; Michael Gwin, AIA, LEED AP; Renee Miles, Assoc. AIGA; Tara Earnest, Assoc. AIA; Terry Oden, AIA; Martha Solomon; Katie Belkofer
CONTRACTOR: Mistick Construction Company
PHOTOGRAPHER: Massery Photography, Inc.

DESCRIPTION: In a community continuously struggling for its identity, this project sought to position the modest building type as a cultural center that displays the positive memories of Braddock in order to provide inspiration for the next generation.

JURY COMMENTS: The jury was impressed with the architect’s efforts to engage the community in developing their history, which is represented graphically in the testimonial wall.  This soulful project has a certain scale that works and an industrial layer that makes it quite interesting.  Very well done on a very low budget.


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PROJECT: Burgatory – Helluva Burger and Heavenly Shakes
CLIENT: Burgatory
CONTRACTOR: Brubach Construction Co.
PHOTOGRAPHER: Mark Paczan Photography

DESCRIPTION: This restaurant takes an American staple, the hamburger, and aims to raise its standards beyond expectations through the use of quality ingredients and unique preparations.  The design of the space reflects the same idea, transforming common, often unremarkable materials such as concrete, plywood, and salvaged barn siding into highly crafted finishes that surpass expectations of the materials.

JURY COMMENTS: The jury enjoyed the industrial vocabulary of this project that the architect carried through the entire project.  The furniture helps to make the space by successfully realizing an architectural scale.


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PROJECT: Creating a Living City: A Case Study in Ecodistrict Planning
CLIENT: Carlos Gasca
ARCHITECTURE FIRM: evolve : environment :: architecture
PROJECT TEAM: Christine Mondor, AIA; Zach Hartle; David Eskenazi; David Deal, LEED AP; Lindsey Waters, Cole Williams

DESCRIPTION: The project is a case study exhibiting the opportunity post-industrial cities present to re-imagine resilient neighborhoods as effective environmental solutions in urban planning.  Working together to solve energy, water, food, and other environmental issues is also introduced as a way to redefine how to form community bonds.

JURY COMMENTS: This very thought provoking and ambitious plan to restore and reinvigorate an urban neighborhood that relies on the integration of three systems; energy, water, and food.  The jury was impressed with this thoughtful strategy of repairing a community through ecology.


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REGIONAL & URBAN DESIGN: Certificate of Merit

PROJECT: Revive Cincinnati: Neighborhoods of the Lower Mill Creek Valley
CLIENT: City of Cincinnati, Department of City Planning and Buildings with Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati
ARCHITECTURE FIRM: Urban Design Associates
PROJECT TEAM: Paul B. Ostergaard, AIA; Rob Robinson, AIA; Ryan Yurcaba; Joseph Nikol, AICP; David Csont, ASAI; Joseph Skibba; Megan O’Hara; Caitlin O’Hara; Terry Welsh

DESCRIPTION: The City of Cincinnati and the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati jointly funded a $500,000 design study to begin coordinating the reconstruction of I-75/74, sewer improvements, and the revitalization of the Mill Creek neighborhoods.  The purpose of the study is to create a vision for the communities and natural environment of the Mill Creek Valley in a public planning process and to then prepare a framework of design initiatives and strategies to guide the efforts to their maximum benefit.

JURY COMMENTS: Infrastructure investment can be a catalyst for community redevelopment and this study suggests how that can happen.  It sets up the terms of the dialogue for the community on how to leverage billions of dollars of investments into sewers to provide benefits in other areas.


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PROJECT: Kaufmann Center
CLIENT: Hill House Association
ARCHITECTURE FIRM: Renaissance 3 Architects
PROJECT TEAM: Deepak Wadhwani, AIA, LEED AP; Utkarsh Ghildyal, LEED-AP; Todd Peters, AIA; Sanela Rebholz; Rachel Furmanski, NCIDQ, LEED-AP, BD+C
CONTRACTOR: Massaro Corporation
PHOTOGRAPHER: Massery Photography, Inc.

DESCRIPTION: The Hill House Association undertook this major improvement project to both restore the Kaufmann Center to its original grandeur as well as creating a venue for cultural and family events, education, and job training for the community.  The project included gutting the existing 17,500 sf interior and a complete renovation of the auditorium, classrooms, cafe, and administrative space.  A new facade ties a new addition t the existing building and highlights the improved courtyard space.

JURY COMMENTS: The architect effectively reestablished the front of this historic building while adding a side court to serve as a welcoming new entrance.  The jury liked the sense of engagement the new plaza brings and how it successfully resolves accessibility issues.


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PROJECT: Chatham Village
CLIENT: Buhl Foundation
PROJECT TEAM: Ingham & Boyd; Clarence Stein & Henry Wright
PHOTOGRAPHER: IKM Incorporated, Natale Cozzolongo

DESCRIPTION: Chatham Village is Pittsburgh’s living example of the utopian Garden City Movement.  Originally envisioned as affordable housing for the working class, its quality and aesthetic quickly developed a broad appeal to a much wider swath of society.  Residences are sited to work with the topography and are clustered to preserve large communal spaces; construction materials are high quality, time honored, and enduring; site planning encourages social interaction and a communal responsibility.  Now in its eighth decade, the community continues to thrive much as its designers originally envisioned.

JURY COMMENTS: The very definition of “timeless” is a community that is still affordable, livable and desirable.  Chatham Village is all of this and an example to all architects and planners of principles that should be emulated in all developments.  The jury was impressed with the original intent of the community and the successful resolution of imbedding a residential community on a difficult natural site.


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PROJECT: Exercise City
DESIGNER: Kathryn Walsh
PROJECT: Uncover Pittsburgh
DESIGNER: Jared Friedman

JURY COMMENTS: Both of these projects looked at the augmentation the existing public stair infrastructure. The Designer of Uncover Pittsburgh looked at a uniform method to address impediments to use of the stairs such as lack visibility, exposure to elements, and lighting. Exercise City takes this concept further by making places along the stairs, although perhaps too dogmatically focused on exercise. The jury felt that each scheme had merits and deficits, but taken together suggest a signature attraction that is unique in the world, a distributed “highline” amongst the hills and neighborhoods of Pittsburgh.


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PROJECT: Savoy Restaurant
CLIENT: The Rock Entertainment Group
ARCHITECTURE FIRM: Desmone & Associates Architects
PROJECT TEAM: Luke Desmone, AIA and Beth Nelson, AIA
CONTRACTOR: Pittsburgh Contracting Network
PHOTOGRAPHER: Massery Photography, Inc.

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