What We Do Next Matters

AIA Pittsburgh’s statement on social justice and a more equitable built environment

No statement can do justice to the despair, grief, and anger inflicted on so many by recent acts of racism and brutality against the Black community. That said, our profession should not be defined by its silence on this issue. We know longstanding inequities and discrimination against many groups will continue to harm members of our profession, our region, and our society. As a community of architects and allied professionals we can take action by asking: What can architects and architecture offer in the way of change for the better? How can we live up to our professional commitment to support the health, safety and wellbeing of the public in its entirety? How can we continue to take steps to...

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Feature

Around the World with Bill Bates, FAIA

Pittsburgh Architect shares his Adventures as 2019 AIA National President

By Maya Henry Posted on May 1, 2020

Bill Bates, FAIA in South Korea during his tenure as AIA National President in 2019 AIA Pittsburgh’s William “Bill” Bates, FAIA served as President of AIA National in 2019 after being elected to the Board of Directors in 2011.  Bates served as AIA’s 2018 President-Elect and was also vice president and chair of the AIA Board Community Committee from 2015-2016. In 1991 and again in 2010, Bill served as president of AIA Pennsylvania and was also president of AIA Pittsburgh in 1987. He has chaired boards for the Community Design Center of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation and the Green Building Alliance. After talking to Bill about his role in the recent PBS documentary on Paul Williams, FAIA, I wanted...

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Keeping Kids Entertained: Architecture Edition

Design-Related Ideas for Your Kid-Friendly Quarantine

By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on April 2, 2020

Courtesy Learn to Play at Home There are a lot of suggestions out there for how to entertain kids while they are staying home during the COVID-19 crisis. Here we’ve rounded up some of our favorites that have an architecture focus. While it doesn’t mean your kids will leave you alone entirely while you attempt to work from home, our hope is that these ideas will provide some new entertainment and help you share your craft with your children. PRESCHOOL Create a box city and practice cutting, painting and building with this activity from Learn With Play at Home. Learn the concepts behind design thinking with this activity from Left Brain, Craft Brain. Craft an Egyptian pyramid with The Pinterested...

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Grassroots 2020: The Big Takeaways

Grassroots 2020: The Big Takeaways

By Michelle Fanzo Posted on February 28, 2020

Every year AIA holds a national gathering for Chapter and Component leaders – the Grassroots Leadership Conference. This year, four AIA Pittsburgh members and one staff attended the event, held February 18-20 in New Orleans. This year’s agenda emphasized an increased commitment to sustainability, equity and civic leadership. Asserting a leadership role President-Elect, Peter Exley, FAIA acknowledged the implications of being in New Orleans, a city that became synonymous with a new normal of more extreme and more frequent storms driven by climate changes. “This is our leadership moment, and it comes with the most important deadline of our careers.” Exley highlighted four ways architects can lead: Mitigating GHG sources and owning the footprint buildings have in cities/ regions Adapting...

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REVIEW

She Drew While Designing and Designed While Drawing

Review of Lina Bo Bardi Draws at the Heinz Architectural Center

By Robyn Engel AIA Posted on February 20, 2020

Lina Bo Bardi, L’ombra della sera, 1965 Lina Bo Bardi was a vivid, new name to me prior to exploring the phenomenal exhibit brought to the Carnegie Museum of Art by the Heinz Architectural Center. Learning about her and her impressive oeuvre, however, imparted upon me a sense of awe and gratitude. The sheer span and depth of her portfolio is stunning, all saturated with color and conceptually vibrant. She was a true Renaissance designer and her work feels effortless and radiant, regardless of subject: from stage sets to chairs, to buildings. The collection, beautifully curated by Zeuler R. Lima, unfolds with such tenderness and attention to detail, that each showcased piece feels valued – by curator, and by creator. Influenced by...

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Hollywood’s Big Night Starts with Paul R. Williams, AIA

Hollywood’s Architect: The Paul R. Williams Story Debuts on PBS

By Maya Henry Posted on February 5, 2020

Paul R. Williams, AIA in front of the LAX terminal. Before diving into the Oscar’s broadcast this Sunday, if that’s your thing, consider taking a gander at a new documentary airing on WQED-TV at 4 pm.  This one-hour special explores the journey of iconic Los Angeles architect Paul Revere Williams, AIA, and his professionalism and determination in the face of discrimination. From the early 1920s until his retirement 50 years later, Williams was one of the most prolific architects in America. His list of celebrity clients included Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant, Barbara Stanwyck, William Holden, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. He is noted for his mastery of various iconic architectural styles that include the Beverly Hills Hotel, the original MCA Headquarters Building...

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Lina Bo Bardi Draws at the Heinz Architectural Center

Exhibit Features Nearly 100 Drawings by Inspirational 20th-Century Architect

By Maya Henry Posted on December 19, 2019

Lina Bo Bardi, Study for furniture design at Milan Triennale (detail), ca. 1946. Courtesy of Instituto Bardi / Casa de Vidro “Drawing, with its slow and intimate gestures, was her way of dwelling in the world. Drawing was one of her solitary anchors in a constantly transforming existence. Drawing conveyed, at the tip of her hands, a representational purpose and also a somewhat magical realism spell.” —Zeuler R. Lima, introduction to Lina Bo Bardi, Drawings In need of some color during these cold winter days? Lina Bo Bardi Draws is open now at the Heinz Architectural Center and brings together nearly 100 drawings by one of the most inspirational twentieth-century architects.  This whimsical exhibit is open now through March 29, 2020, so, just enough...

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FEATURE

Follow the Yellow Book Road

Best Practices Guides Released by the AIA MBA Joint Committee

By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on December 13, 2019

Members of the AIA-MBA Joint Committee Chartered in 1965, the AIA-MBA Joint Committee in western PA was one of the first committees in the United States to bring together AIA member architects with general contractors and owners.  The group provides a unique forum to meet and discuss existing conditions of the construction industry. As a result, a set of guidelines have been created to reflect the best practices for procedures involving drawings and specifications, bidding, contract documents and administrative procedures during construction called The Best Practice Guides. These guides were originally published as the Yellow Book of Recommended Construction Practices in 1967, and for decades existed as a yellow book, or binder, that floated around offices or constructions sites, and served...

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Feature

Learning From Where You Live: Q&A with Ray Gastil

"Architecture is Telling Stories About How We Live and What We Want."

By Maya Henry Posted on November 14, 2019

This Monday, November 18 Ray Gastil, AICP will present the David Lewis Lecture on Urban Design to close the Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture’s Fall Lecture Series for 2019. Gastil’s lecture, titled “Learning From Where You Live: Innovation and Connection,” will touch on his five years as Planning Director for the City of Pittsburgh as well as his experience in similar positions in Seattle and New York City. In advance of Monday’s lecture, COLUMNS sat down with Ray to learn more about his lecture topic and hear about his new role heading the Remaking Cities Institute. COLUMNS: What does innovation mean for architects and planners? One of the reasons that we [City of Pittsburgh Department of City Planning] called the...

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FEATURE

A Look Inside People’s Choice Award Winner Presley’s Place

The First Sensory Space of Its Kind

By Jennifer Beck, AIA Posted on October 10, 2019

Presley’s Place just received the People’s Choice Award at AIA Pittsburgh’s Design Awards, demonstrating that there is a growing recognition of the strong impact design has on mental and physical health. Located at the Pittsburgh International Airport, Presley’s Place is named after the son of airport heavy equipment operator Jason Rudge, who originally pitched the idea of a sensory room to Allegheny County Airport Authority CEO, Christina Cassotis, through an employee suggestion box. That simple suggestion led to the design and construction of a 1,500-square-foot space that serves as a respite for travelers with sensory processing issues, and their companions, who may have a need to de-stress while traveling.  Pittsburgh International’s space isn’t just a room, it is an entire...

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