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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Recycling Space

New Architecture for Old Places

By Eric Fisher, AIA, LEED AP Posted on September 7, 2015

This was originally presented as a lecture hosted by Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, and subsequently posted to Fisher BLOGitecture. This has been edited and reposted with the author’s permission.  I’ve been thinking about the following idea I presented in a previous post, Reimagining Pittsburgh: Only by carefully studying Pittsburgh’s existing context may an architect design new forms for it.  I’m now of the opinion that that not only is context important when you are coming up with the project ideas, it is also important as you design and build the project. There are different ways to take action. There’s the kind of person who (carefully or not) studies a situation where change needs to occur, forms a strong opinion...

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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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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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From the Firms – August 4, 2015

Tiffany Haile, Assoc. AIA joins AE Works’ Pittsburgh office as a Project Manager.   Haile, a certified planner and LEED Accredited Professional, brings over fifteen years of diverse A/E industry experience in planning, design, and project management roles. Allen & Shariff Engineering celebrated its 15th anniversary in Pittsburgh this past May. Bohlin Cywinski Jackson has promoted two members to Associate Principal here at their Pittsburgh offices – Natalie Gentile Wetmore, AIA and Michael Maiese, AIA. Celli-Flynn Brennan, Architects and Planners, is pleased to announce that Brian P. Roth and Eileen Macioce have become Associate Principals of the firm. Brian is in charge of the architectural management of complex projects and Eileen is responsible for office management, finance and proposals. Desmone Architects...

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House Vs. Home

This Non-Architect Speaks About the One Structure She Intimately Knows

By Becky Spevack Posted on July 7, 2015

I could never claim to be an expert in the field of architecture. The subject is far too broad, and perhaps my attention span too short. My head starts spinning just merely considering the quantity of information – the periods and styles, influences and materials – that is to be found across this vast and varied planet. People have spent their entire lives focused on a single city or trend, a school of thought or even an individual architect; decades learning all there is to know about one piece of a single subject. It’s amazing, fascinating, and… overwhelming. I will never be an expert on any of these things, but there is one small bit of the architecture world that...

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Stephen Winikoff, AIA

Architect... or Dogwalker?

Name: Stephen Winikoff, AIA Firm: Astorino-CannonDesign Family: Susan (spouse) Years in practice: 15 Education: B.Arch, University of Toronto, Canada Your first job: High-end residential work in Toronto, Canada Project you’re proudest of: Allegheny Health Network’s Health & Wellness Pavilion, Wexford Most embarrassing moment: My second job as a recent architectural graduate was working for a small design-build firm in Toronto. The office was in a private home. One day my boss’s husband, a wealthy hedge fund manager, came downstairs to the office and seeing that I was the only one present, says “Hey Champ (did not know my name), when you take your lunch break, would you mind walking Sophie (the dog)? Thanks, Buddy.” Needless to say, Sophie did not...

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90 Neighborhoods

Ron Donoughe's Love Letter to Pittsburgh

By Becky Spevack Posted on May 12, 2015

“What is around here that I should paint?” That is the question Ron Donoughe found himself asking a lot last year. In the summer of 2013, he undertook his ’90 Pittsburgh Neighborhoods’ project, committing to paint a scene from each and every one of Pittsburgh’s 90 unique neighborhoods, in alphabetical order, within a year. And he quickly found that reaching out to those who lived there helped guide his brush. “If you humble yourself to ask, it makes a stronger connection to the neighbors, to the community.” THE STUDIO VISIT I find myself hunched against the wind as I wait at the backdoor to a large brick building in Lawrenceville. It’s a grey-skied day… typical Pittsburgh. The solid wood opens...

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Determined to Empower

YAF Chair Shares Experiences from Grassroots

By Joshua Harter, AIA Posted on April 9, 2015

This year’s Grassroots Leadership and Legislative Conference was my first experience participating in an AIA National event. I returned home from the conference with a confidence and passion in what the AIA does to promote our profession and a refreshed view of what it means to be a young architect member of the AIA. I left determined to empower my fellow young architects in becoming the next generation of leaders. Everyday our colleagues are taking action, standing firm and working to defend the role of the architect, providing legislative resources towards important issues such as national model code development, empowering communities back from disaster, and working off the debt aspiring architects face. According to the NAAB 6,347 accredited degrees were...

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From the Firms – April 2, 2015

Astorino/CannonDesign has received the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania’s (ESWP’s) 2014 “Project of the Year” award in the Commercial category for the design of Allegheny Health Network’s Health + Wellness Pavilion. The original concept behind the project was to bring a range of outpatient services into the community, on a level of quality and sophistication normally found only in a hospital. Not only convenient, but because this would be a ‘one stop shop’ with all of the services under one roof, the continuity of care across specialties should be far more seamless and integrated than when transitioning between physically separate facilities. This building is the embodiment of patient-centered care. Desmone Architects welcomes Jen Bee, AIA to the firm. With a Master...

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