Feature

The Art of Experimentation

Where art and architecture meet

By Deborah Knox Posted on July 20, 2012

Experimentation is an essential part of the design process, but is it a secret activity carried out by a team of designers huddled in the studio, or an open process, supported by the client? What makes the magic happen? Ultimately it can happen either way. Ideally it incorporates a little bit of both. EXPERIMENTATION AND VISION Known for his wildly imaginative designs, Burt Hill’s James O’Toole, Assoc. AIA may be best known for the steelworkers sculpture at the Hot Metal Bridge and the two dinosaurs he designed for Dino Days a few years ago — the “Tonkasaurus” and the winged Da Vinci T-Rex, sponsored by his former employer Astorino. His experimentation and creativity comes from an emotional place deep inside....

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Book Review

Now What? A Challenge to Today’s Urbanists

By Eric R. Osth, AIA LEED AP Posted on June 21, 2012

From the moment Dhiru Thadani’s book, The Language of Towns & Cities: A Visual Dictionary landed on my desk, I have been enjoying it immensely and making use of it regularly. It really did ‘land’ there – all 804 pages and 8 pounds, 11.5 ounces of it. The book is nothing short of a life’s work, with robust contributions from some of the many accomplished practitioners, an inspiring forward by Leon Krier, and an introduction by Andres Duany. The lavish praise on the book by the 2011 David Lewis Lecturer is well deserved. So my question for my fellow practitioners is: Now what? This book is very well organized for easy use. The ‘encyclopedic’ format allows it to serve as...

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Feature

Living By Example

The timeless influence of Chatham Village

By Becky Spevack Posted on June 5, 2012

2011 was an exciting year for Chatham Village, the residential community in Mt. Washington recognized as a thriving example of the garden city planning movement.  First, the Village was brought back into the limelight with the publication of Chatham Village: Pittsburgh’s Garden City.  Penned by the city’s own Angelique Bamberg, an expert in city planning and historic preservation, this book provides an in-depth look at the history, development, and socioeconomic impact Chatham Village has had both on the region and on the profession of urban planning.  Then Chatham Village, and the architects who designed it, were honored with AIA Pittsburgh’s Timeless Award, an award created to recognize architectural design of enduring significance, conferred on projects that have withstood the test...

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From the Firms – May 18, 2012

Peter Rempe has joined the Pittsburgh office of Allen & Shariff Engineering, LLC. Astorino has created a new executive management team in which Louis P. Astorino has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer; Timothy Powers, AIA is now President of Architecture; John Francona, LEED AP assumes an expanded role as Senior Vice President – Architecture to include Senior Vice President – Marketing; and Michael Brennan strengthens his role from Senior Vice President – Structural Engineering to Senior Vice President – Project Management.  The firm has also won a Citation of Merit in Regional & Urban Design from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Pennsylvania for the design of “Pittsburgh’s Tribute to Children” honoring Fred Rogers.  Additionally, the  Astorino-designed Children’s Hospital...

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Local Firm to Lead Team for Moscow Master Plan

Urban Design Associates will aid in city plan

Urban Design Associates has been chosen to head an international team to guide a master plan to expand Moscow, Russia. UDA was the only American firm selected to lead one of the ten teams, teams which will spend months studying the city and region, exploring how the city can expand while redeveloping its historic core. Click here to read more.

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Feature

Developing Community

The impact of local CDCs on the neighborhoods where we live

By Virginia Shields Posted on February 27, 2012

It starts with a meeting, a seed of concern that grows into a dialog, rooted in the heart of a city. Size, demographics, and location differ at every meeting, but the topic is always the same: how can we make our community safer, more diverse, more livable, and more prosperous? The discussion morphs into analysis. Residents, public officials, police, and community leaders all lend a voice or a concern to address the issues. Market and city data is scoured and absorbed. A plan of action is made and a community development corporation is born. Reinventing East Liberty Pittsburgh is no stranger to Community Development Corporations (CDCs), as the city has been subject to many serious revitalization efforts since its decline...

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Feature

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...

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