Dossier

Jeff Murray, FAIA

This Pittsburgh boomerang spent 30 years away; see what he thinks of it now

Name: F Jeffrey Murray, FAIA Firm: ch2m (formerly branded IDC Architects) Family: wife Gail, children Jake and Clara Years in practice: 30 plus Education: B-ARCH Notre Dame, M-ARCH Ohio State Your first job: Caddy at Oakmont Country Club at 13. Building you’d like to tear down: NOT the Igloo (oops, too late). What’s the best part of your job? When a client says ‘I had no idea it would be this cool.’ What would you change about your job? To not have to listen to the advice of lawyers and insurance people so much. What have you always wanted to tell your clients? “Thank you for giving us the opportunity” (and we do tell them that all the time). What’s...

Read More
Dossier

Brian Skripac, Assoc. AIA

A Pittsburgh transplant and lover of technology

Name: Brian Skripac, Assoc. AIA , LEED AP BD+C Firm: Director of Digital Practice at Astorino Family: Wife – Jennifer; Children – Nate & Abbey Years in practice: 17 Education: Bachelor of Science in Architecture, The Ohio State University Your first job: Clearing tables at Bob Evans. First architectural position was as an Intern Architect at Fanning/Howey (Columbus, Ohio). Project you’re proudest of: The ongoing BIM Implementation Project at The Ohio State University (Buckeye BIM Initiative). Leading this project, the University has already converted more than 10,000,000 sf of the total 34,350,000 sf existing building space on campus from 2D to intelligent 3D building information models. In addition, I’ll be working to develop the BIM Standards & Guidelines for the...

Read More
Dossier

Karissa Pytlak, Assoc. AIA

Meet the outgoing YAF president

Name: Karissa Pytlak, Assoc. AIA Firm: Sleighter Engineering Years in practice: 2 Education: BA: Art History/Architectural History, University of Pittsburgh; Masters of Architecture, North Carolina State University Your first job: Cashier at my grandma’s bookstore. What’s the best part of your job? Freehand sketching and 3D rendering. What would you change about your job? Location – I want to work downtown. What’s the most annoying thing architects do? Architects are design snobs; sometimes a little overly critical of each other’s designs when we should be complimenting and working together. What’s the next big architectural trend? Sustainability and collaboration. Advice to young architects: Join the YAF! It’s a great starting point to get involved in the local community and connect with fellow...

Read More
Dossier

Anne Marie Decker, AIA

Meet one of the Design Pittsburgh 2013 jurors

Name: Anne Marie Decker, AIA Firm: Duvall Decker Architects, P.A. Family: Husband and two children, 7 and 13 Years in practice: 19 Education: BArch from Mississippi State University Your first job: My Dad’s pharmacy, Duvall Drugs, Inc. Project you’re proudest of: Truly, they are like children, and I am proud of all of them.  Right now, I am particularly proud of the Jobie L. Martin Building at Hinds Community College. Building you’d like to tear down: Chain drugstores at intersections, the ones with the chopped off corners. What’s the best part of your job? That it is different every day. What have you always wanted to tell your clients? In certain moments, I have wanted to say “Seriously?!” out loud...

Read More
Dossier

Emily Putas, AIA, LEED AP

She hopes to be remembered as a problem solver

Name: Emily Putas, AIA, LEED AP Firm: Stantec Family: Workin’ on it… Years in practice: 9 Education: BArch from Syracuse University Your first job: Clerk at CVS Project you’re proudest of: The Academic Building for Harrisburg University of Science and Technology What’s the best part of your job? Seeing how the work I do can change the lives of the people in my community. What have you always wanted to tell your clients? There is a first time for everything, so just because I haven’t done it before doesn’t mean I won’t be able to.  As an architect, I’m a problem solver – it’s about how I will solve the problem, not whether or not I’ve solved it before. What’s...

Read More
Dossier

Katie Walsh, Assoc. AIA

A Pittsburgh transplant who loves Scarpa

Name: Katie Walsh Firm: GBBN Architects Years in practice: 6 years Education: Syracuse University BArch 2007 Your first job: Park Attendant at Sayville Beach Project you’re proudest of: Co-founding Women in Design at Syracuse University with several empowering classmates – Taught me to stick to my guts and beliefs, lessons I carry to this day. Most embarrassing moment: Mistyping “Public” Schools on my resume… spell check didn’t catch that one! What’s the best part of your job? Solving problems through creativity and innovation. What would you change about your job profession? Rethinking the ARE test to be more contextual to building types and location/geography. What have you always wanted to tell your clients? Challenge the norm for good design solutions....

Read More
Dossier

Mary Cerrone, AIA

An architect with a thirst for the outdoors...

Name: Mary Cerrone, AIA Firm: MCAI Family: Kevin (husband), Anna and Peter (kids) Years in practice: almost 20 Education: University of Virginia (UVA), Yale University Your first job: Concession stand at Wheeling Country Club; first architectural job: Historic American Building Survey (HABS) Building you would like to tear down: Any Sheetz service station…they are way too bright; also several buildings at Pitt. What is the best part of your job: Working with great clients and excellent builders. What would you change about your job: Less sitting. What have you always wanted to tell your clients: Similar to advice for travelers: pack what you think you need, then put back half. What is the most annoying thing that architects do: Think...

Read More
Dossier

George Halkias, AIA

Unfinished musicals... Who knew?

Name: George D. Halkias, AIA Firm: Stantec Family: wife Mary, daughter Lydia Years in practice: 20 Education: B. Arch – Penn State University Your first job: Student Intern with Tasso Katselas at the old Pittsburgh Airport. Most embarrassing moment: In my first year back in Pittsburgh, I labeled the cover sheet for a permit set with the wrong contractor name. It did not take long for my phone to ring. Building you would like to tear down: Allegheny Center. It creates a barrier between the North Shore and the North Side. What is the best part of your job: Working with people who care. What would you change about your job: As my daughter says, Architects have too many meetings....

Read More
Dossier

Barry Svigals, FAIA

Get to know Build Pittsburgh's keynote speaker

Name: Barry Svigals, FAIA Firm: Svigals + Partners, LLP Years in practice: 36 years practicing architecture Eduction: Bachelor of Arts, Yale College; Master of Architecture,Yale School of Architecture Your first job: With Herbert S. Newman and Partners, a former professor and mentor who was an inspiration to work with. Project you are most proud of: I wouldn’t want to suggest that any one project is more important than another, each is the most important to our clients. As a segment of our work, however, creating schools for small children has been enormously rewarding. Most embarrassing moment: On the first day of my first job, incorrectly  feeding an original drawing into the blueprint machine (can we remember those?) and not having...

Read More
Dossier

Luke Havrilla, AIA, LEED AP

Meet this Build Pittsburgh Facilitator

Name: Luke A. Havrilla, AIA, LEED AP Firm: Stantec (formally Burt Hill) Family: Parents Tom and Lynn in Northern Cambria, PA, and brother, sister-in-law, and niece in Johnstown, PA Years in practice: 5 Education: The Pennsylvania State University Your first job: Lifeguard at the local community pool, but architecturally, a summer intern at Weber Murphy Fox in State College, PA. Project you’re proudest of: My 5th year thesis. What’s the best part of your job? Working with people I love. What would you change about your job? Reduce the commute. What have you always wanted to tell your clients? You can have it cheap, reliable, or pretty, but you can only pick two. What’s the most annoying thing architects do?...

Read More