From the Firms

From the Firms – March 5, 2021

By Brigid Moser Posted on March 4, 2021

Member & Partner Updates 


AE Works Becomes a B Corp

Real Leaders recently selected winners of its 2021 “Top Impact Companies” from around the world.  In the company of game-changers such as Patagonia, Tesla and Beyond, AE Works made the global list of 150 organizations that represent a range of industries.  A full list of this year’s impact companies is available here.

As one of two integrated building design and consulting firms in the world to achieve B Corporation certification, AE Works voluntarily meets a higher standard of transparency, accountability, and performance, harnessing the power of business to solve social and economic problems.

“We believe there is a better way to do business, and we want our work, the physical environments we create, to reflect this by positively contributing to the community and our planet. AE Workers are on a mission to achieve our vision of a world where everyone is relevant,” asserts Michael Cherock, PE, President and CEO of AE Works.


Evolution of Leadership at WTW

WTW Architects announces that Larry Payne, AIA, was named President & CEO of the firm upon Richard DeYoung’s retirement on February 28th, 2021. Rich DeYoung, FAIA, who served as President & CEO since 2003, continually challenged and inspired the firm to push the boundaries of design and creative solutions in a highly collaborative process. During DeYoung’s tenure he played a critical role in helping the firm adapt to significant shifts in design and construction environments. In the process, he solidified WTW as a thought leader in higher education, multi-family housing, and corporate markets.

Larry started his career with multiple internships at WTW between 1986 and 1988 and joined WTW full-time in 1989. He will continue to cultivate inspiring designs and exceptional service for clients moving forward in his new role.

”It is gratifying to step down knowing that an outstanding team of professionals, led by Larry, will continue the exceptional design and commitment to client service that defines WTW,” DeYoung reported.

WTW Senior Principal Warren Bulseco, AIA, will now serve as Senior Vice President. Warren started with WTW as an intern architect in 1991. Associate Principals, Amy Maceyko, AIA, E. Maria Kyriacopoulos, AIA, and Brian DiPietro, AIA, will continue to expand their leadership, design, and management roles in the firm.


Fisher Architecture Launches Vlogcast

Fisher ARCHitecture is proud to introduce a brand new vlogcast, Bits of ARCHitecture! In every episode, Eric Fisher, AIA, and Bea Spolidoro, AIA, explain their process for creating thoughtful, progressive, and contextual designs and communicate the way a quality-focused, small, husband-and-wife architectural firm goes about designing projects. New episodes drop every Wednesday.


New Faces at Architectural Innovations, LGA Partners, and Strada

Edward Karl, AIA, NCARB has joined the architectural firm of Architectural Innovations, LLC as a Senior Project Manager.  He brings knowledge in the areas of healthcare, government, aviation, commercial, industrial office space, labs, education, and government. Ed has volunteered at Habit for Humanity and the Houston food bank during hurricane Harvey.

Tony Pagliaroli, AIA has joined the architectural firm of Architectural Innovations, LLC as a project manager.  He brings knowledge in the areas of aviation, commercial, government, multi-family and aviation. Tony has volunteered at Big Brothers & Sisters and was VP of the their Young Professionals Board.

LGA Partners, LP is excited to announce that John M. Evans, AIA, LEED AP has joined the firm as an Associate. John joins LGA with nearly 20 years of professional experience practicing architecture, planning, and historic preservation. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pennsylvania, John has been involved in various project types throughout his career. His work includes national historic sites, such as the Virginia State Capitol, alongside local landmarks such as the Wilkinsburg Train Station. Over the last several years, John led significant projects for the University of Pittsburgh, Allegheny College, Geneva College, and other key institutional clients. He will leverage his extensive architectural background to further enhance LGA’s expertise in the renovation/reuse of existing buildings and broaden our reach throughout the region.

Strada is welcoming 3 new hires in March 2021:

Claire Koh: Designer in the Strada Pittsburgh office
Courtney Robinson: Interior Designer in our Philadelphia office
Xiaoyu Yang: Architectural Designer

The following Strada employees were recently elevated:

Dawn Peterson elevated to Senior Associate
Eric Phillips, AIA elevated to Associate
I-Shan Tam elevated to Associate
Megan McGee elevated to Associate
Sam Kriegler elevated to Associate



Allen & Shariff Engineering, LLC is ranked 39th on the recently published Pittsburgh Business Times Engineering Firms list. Allen & Shariff is an international MEP engineering firm providing consulting, design, and project management services in the United States and the Middle East. For more than two decades, they have built partnerships into long term relationships that have been rewarded with a great deal of success.




Sharpsburg Ecodistrict Achieves Nationally Recognized EcoDistrictsCertification, Becomes Third Certified in the World

The Sharpsburg Ecodistrict has been recognized with EcoDistricts Certification, joining the Millvale Ecodistrict and Etna EcoDistrict to become the third community in the world to attain this certification. The Sharpsburg Ecodistrict focuses on six quality of life issue areas, a regional ecodistricts approach that was co-created by the Millvale Ecodistrict and evolveEA. This approach has now been adopted by the Etna EcoDistrict and Sharpsburg Ecodistrict, who together compose the Triboro Ecodistrict. The Triboro Ecodistrict was established in 2017 to share knowledge and resources, and scale the impact of all three communities. evolveEA has enjoyed being a long-term partner of the Sharpsburg Ecodistrict, including leading the Sharpsburg Community Vision Planning process (SCVP). The SCVP’s EcoDistrict Roadmap includes specific indicators for year 2030 goals across 20 priority areas. The Roadmap also includes a baseline assessment of community energy consumption and outlines a path to carbon neutrality by the year 2050.

“We applaud Sharpsburg for being proactive about their community challenges and opportunities. Through the vision planning process we worked with the community to establish potential future scenarios and outline how to address them in a way that benefits the environment, the economy, and improves quality of life for all. We congratulate the Sharpsburg Ecodistrict on their certification and look forward to continued partnership,” said Anna Rosenblum, Associate with evolveEA.


LGA Partners Completes Work on Midtown Towers




LGA Partners recently completed work on Midtown Towers. Originally called the Keenan Building, the tower, and its prominent dome, was the jewel of the city when constructed in 1907. The structure was originally a newspaper office, and its iconic dome once housed a photo studio and later a secretarial school. The 18 story antique skyscraper narrowly avoided demolition in the first Pittsburgh renaissance by conversion to subsidized housing in 1970. Its residents were displaced in 2017 following a fatal fire that caused catastrophic damage. Since then, LGA has been working with Beacon Communities and the fire insurance carrier to revitalize the historic structure. The new layouts are more accessible, safe, and comfortable. By shifting some services, LGA recovered enough area to convert the former studio units into apartments with distinct bedrooms. LGA’s design included a complete refresh of the 18th-floor dome, which had previously fallen into disuse. The dome now houses common space and amenities for tenants and staff, including a wellness center and fitness room. The new entry bay is both historically appropriate and wheelchair accessible.


Design Group Renovates UPMC Mercy, radiology Department
of Allegheny Health Network West Penn Hospital, and partners with Light of Life Rescue Mission

DesignGroup renovates eighth floor of UPMC Mercy with emphasis on flexibility and adaptability. UPMC Mercy recently unveiled the facility’s renovated eighth floor featuring 18 acuity adaptable patient rooms. The 19,900 square foot project, led by Pittsburgh and Columbus, Ohio-based DesignGroup, provides additional bed capacity and swing space for the entire building, making possible future upgrades and renovations in other units throughout the hospital. The DesignGroup team was able to expedite the project supporting UPMC’s ability to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The previous eighth floor layout was underutilized, so the design concept was driven primarily by the need for flexibility and acuity adaptability. The rooms in the new double-loaded corridor unit will first function as a MICU before transitioning to other uses in the future.

“DesignGroup is driven to elevate patient and caregiver experiences at every level while focusing on innovations that improve outcomes. I’m especially pleased with our emphasis on acoustics in this renovation,” said Tom Chidlow, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, principal and project manager at DesignGroup’s Pittsburgh office. “All partition and ceiling assemblies were designed according to this key concern, and common spaces also include sound masking technology for patient comfort.”

DesignGroup to renovate entire radiology Department of Allegheny Health Network West Penn Hospital. A renovation project at Allegheny Health Network’s (AHN) West Penn Hospital began with a plan to replace seven pieces of imaging equipment. That plan evolved into an overall planning and design concept by DesignGroup. The master plan involves renovating the entire 43,000-square-foot radiology department using evidence-based design and industry best practices. The design of the department – newly renamed The Imaging Institute – consolidates current clinical and support services to facilitate a safe and healing environment for patients. The expected completion date for the project is December 2022.

One of the key principles of the master plan relocates all radiology modalities to the hospital’s third floor, offering the most cost-effective patient-focused care and increasing staff efficiency. The radiology suite was previously segregated, broken up by large portions of administrative spaces and outdated equipment.

“Contemporary healthcare facilities are moving towards a shared space model in terms of clinical support, administrative, and staff work and support areas,” says Anastasia Markiw, AIA, project architect at DesignGroup. “This concept has been proven to improve patient wayfinding and satisfaction and reduce travel distances between key areas within a department. Implementing this model for The Imaging Institute will positively impact patient satisfaction, ease and safety, and will create a more intuitive experience for all.”

The initial phase of this multi-phase project has been designed and approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and is scheduled to begin construction this December. The collaborative design-build team includes DesignGroup, H.F. Lenz Co., Taylor Structural Engineers, and MBM Contracting working closely with the Construction and Real Estate Team at West Penn.

DesignGroup partners with Light of Life Rescue Mission to provides interior design services in support of new, welcoming facility for people experiencing homelessness. With the shared goal of creating a space where residents feel safe and welcome, the experts at DesignGroup recently partnered with Light of Life Rescue Mission in Allegheny West for interior design services for the organization’s new building at 234 Voeghtly Street.

“At DesignGroup, we are always striving to improve people’s lives through design, and there is no better example than our recent partnership with Light of Life Rescue Mission,” said Tom Chidlow, AIA, LEED AP BD+C and leader of DesignGroup’s Pittsburgh office. “Our designs offer responsive solutions to a specific time and place, and the unique qualities of a building’s purpose and mission. When we were approached by Light of Life to work on this project, we were honored to prioritize the experiences of the clients and the staff, helping the people and the organization’s purpose flourish in their new space.”

“We cannot fully express our gratitude for what the DesignGroup team brought to our project,” said Corrin Pontzloff, communications coordinator for Light of Life Rescue Mission. “They were able to grasp our vision for the building interior and bring it to life. Because of their work, the men, women and children who are homeless in Pittsburgh will have a place to feel comfortable, safe and hopeful.”

Light of Life was established in 1952 and provides shelter, food, recovery programs, employment assistance, mental health help and overall case management for individuals who are homeless in Pittsburgh. DesignGroup – a Pittsburgh and Columbus, Ohio-based architecture and design firm – worked as part of the design team on a pro-bono basis.

Comment Policy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *