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 style of design. Great project that I got to manage while at Astorino.
What’s the best part of your job? Using my brain to create unique or simple solutions to complex problems. Figuring out how the elements of a program fit together best, like a large puzzle. Working with clients (particularly homeowers) one on one to help them realize their dream homes.
What would you change about your job? Less stress…but that means less work so I guess we’ll keep it the way it is for now…maybe add more staff!
Code/zoning requirement I’d change if given the chance: Oh don’t get me started.
I belong to the AIA because: Honestly, I think I need to re-up my membership… (Editor’s note: Yes, Matt, you do, and can do so here!)
Favorite tool: Revit (it’s also my least favorite).
Favorite outdoor space: Millenium Park in Chicago is pretty cool…. But there’s a gorgeous family cemetery in Italy designed by Carlo Scarpa – Brion Cemetery – that’s just the perfect architectural expression. Calm, solitude, gravity, loss…it’s a very spiritual place and a great example of architecture shaping experience.
Favorite indoor space: The main living room at Falling Water.
Favorite city: Pittsburgh…or I probably would live somewhere else. Firenze is great and I enjoy Roma but realistically it’s the ‘Burgh.
Architect you’d like to have a drink with: Frank Lloyd Wright; I work a lot in residential and the man was truly a master.
Favorite Pgh neighborhood: Brighton Heights (I live here so I’ve got to say it, right?). Honestly, there’s a lot of wonderful neighborhoods around the ‘Burgh and their diversity is what makes them great. In my neighborhood, though, we have a number of beautiful older homes and a lot of denser semi-urban/suburban housing. It’s great because you are so tight you get to meet all your neighbors. Unlike the new developments, the streets run in straight lines and actually connect to each other instead of dead-ending…and there are sidewalks and local businesses. We’re pretty much the farthest out to be annexed with Allegheny City back in the day so it is a weird feel of semi-suburban life but it’s a neat mix and of most of the neighborhoods I have been to it’s one of the better ones I think for having a very wide range of income levels living side-by-side.
Someday I’d like to: Write a book about Pittsburgh houses; get into development; design and build furniture.
I want to be remembered for: A great body of work and my skills in business.
Name: Matt Brind’Amour