In Memoriam: Elmer Burger, AIA

Surrounded by family, friends, and faith, Elmer Burger, AIA passed away on Sunday, December 22, 2019. Elmer attended Carnegie Mellon University and received his BFA and BArch from the Rhode Island School of Design. He was employed by several architecture firms in Boston, Washington D.C., and Pittsburgh during his career. He retired as the University Architect/Planner of Point Park University in 2018. Elmer served as President of AIA Pennsylvania in 2008, was previously on the AIA Pittsburgh Board of Directors, was an active member of the Master Builders Association, and was often invited to be a guest critique at Carnegie Mellon University. His notable works include the Camp Kon-O-Kwee dining hall, PNC First Side, UPMC Hospital Palermo, the Masonic Temple...

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Feature

2019 Reading Round-up

What to Read This Season

By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on December 20, 2019

The Wes Anderson Collection: The Grand Budapest Hotel.  Book by Matt Zoller Seitz.  Imprint: Abrams Books There’s never a bad time to pick up a good book.  In anticipation of the cold weather sticking around for a while and the fact that there may be more than a few members looking for last-minute holiday gifts, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite architecture books.  We tried to find something for everyone, like the Wes Anderson architecture-focused book pictured above that takes a deep-dive into the set design for The Grand Budapest Hotel and is an equally perfect gift for your film-nerd or history-buff friend: architect or not.  We also asked a few of our members what book they would recommend that struck...

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Feature

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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From the Firms

From the Firms – October 31, 2019

By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on October 31, 2019

William Bingham, AIA and Cynthia Metzler are new members of the WTW Architects professional team.  Bingham has degrees from both the Yale School of Architecture in New Haven, and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and has held positions with architectural firms in Beijing, Detroit, Omaha, Salt Lake City and Albuquerque. Bingham joins the WTW team on a project at the University of Pittsburgh. Cynthia Metzler is the firm’s new Marketing Coordinator. She joins WTW from a similar position at Eckles Architecture & Engineering in New Castle, PA. She is a graduate of Thiel College in Greenville, PA and earned an MBA from Geneva College in Beaver Falls, PA. Celebrating its 60th anniversary, WTW Architects has announced a series of...

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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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News

Design Pittsburgh 2019

By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on

There is growing recognition of the importance of good design in the region and the important effects of the built environment in society.  This was a record-breaking year for Design Pittsburgh and there is only more to come. Design Pittsburgh Numbers: 470 Attendees (most ever!) 93 Project Submissions 23 Awards Given 4,139 People’s Choice Award Votes (512 more than last year and most ever!) Media Coverage: (We’ll post more here as it is published) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette “Presley’s Place wins People’s Choice Award at architects’ gala” NEXTpittsburgh “Check out the winners of this year’s AIA Design Pittsburgh Awards”

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FEATURE

Palaces for the People

How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life

By Emily Pierson-Brown, AIA Posted on September 12, 2019

Palaces for the People cover.  Image courtesy Penguin Random House. On the same day I received Palaces for the People to review, I wandered through the Carnegie Library Downtown & Business on my lunch hour. A whiteboard faced the front door advertising the month’s events. Book clubs, reading lists, support groups. Men and women in suits mingled with the less well-heeled to browse the new book tables and utilize the free WiFi. In Palaces for the People, Eric Klinenberg (who also authored a previous work of social history chronicling the Chicago heat wave of 1995 that inspired this book) advocates for stronger “social infrastructure,” of which the library is a prime example. The author defines social infrastructure as “the physical...

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FEATURE

When Architects Give Back, Part 2

How Architecture Firms Support Volunteerism

By Maya Henry, COLUMNS editor Posted on September 5, 2019

AE Works employees show off their CANstruction structure.  With the support of local business partners, AE Works has donated over 6,000 cans of food during this annual event Volunteerism is an integral part of the architecture profession whether it is through individual architects’ efforts to give back in their own communities or ingrained in firm culture. In this article we take a closer look at different ways two firms make community support integral to their bottom line. This article is part of a series; read Part 1 here. AE Works: Business for Good The architects, engineers, and building consultants at AE Works think about how they are affecting the environment, community, employees and their clients in each project. To measure...

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FEATURE

When Architects Give Back, Part 1

How Architecture Firms Support Volunteerism

By Maya Henry, COLUMNS editor Posted on August 22, 2019

Volunteers from Hayes Design Group’s Adopt-a-Landmark program at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in May Volunteerism is an integral part of the architecture profession whether it is through individual architect’s efforts to give back in their own communities, or ingrained in firm culture. In this article (the first in a series) we take a closer look at different ways two firms make community support integral to their bottom line. Hayes Design Group Architects: Adopting a Landmark On Friday, May 17th, the Hayes Design Group Architects (HDG), headquartered in Robinson Township, held its fourth annual company-wide Adopt-a-Landmark program at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church, a National Historic Landmark located on the North Side. Throughout the day, sixteen of the firm’s employees assisted with work inside...

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