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...
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
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”
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...
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...
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...
From the Firms – June 7, 2019
By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on June 6, 2019
mossArchitects announces the promotion of three seasoned architects to Associate Principal. Darren Lloyd, Katie LaForest, and Shannon Ashmore bring extensive design and leadership experience to their new roles. WTW Architect’s long-time senior principal Paul Knell, FAIA has received the Association of College Unions International Emeritus Award for 2019. Sierra Smith is the newest member of the professional staff at WTW Architects. A Pittsburgh native who resides in the city’s Oakland area, Smith graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Architectural Studies. This year, Smith plans to become a LEED Accredited Professional and begin testing for the Architectural Registration Exam. Moshier Studio is pleased to announce that Emel Guner-Ekin, Assoc. AIA has joined the firm as an architectural intern. Strada...
Designing the Front Door to Our Region
The Pittsburgh International Airport’s New Terminal Modernization Program
By Maya Henry, COLUMNS editor Posted on May 30, 2019
Arrivals. Rendering courtesy Allegheny County Airport Authority Pittsburgh International Airport is undergoing a multi-year, $1.1 billion dollar modernization. With construction to be completed by 2023, the design has been informed by a multi-year effort bringing stakeholders together to explore what designing a “world-class” facility really means to Pittsburgh. The new terminal is inspired by the beauty, tech renaissance and people of the Pittsburgh region. It is meant to be iconic, practical and affordable while also being adaptable as technological and transportation needs change. The necessity for a redesign comes as the airport transforms itself from a hub, appropriate for US Airways in the 1980s, to a destination-type airport. The majority of travelers now originate from Pittsburgh, as opposed to passengers connecting to...
Review of The Pritzker Architecture Prize Exhibit at the Heinz Architectural Center
By Bea Spolidoro, AIA Posted on May 23, 2019
Jean Nouvel, Competition Entry: Central Berlin, 1990, Carnegie Museum of Art. Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris. Influencers: The Pritzker Architecture Prize, is now on display at The Heinz Architectural Center recapping 40 years of the prestigious prize. Following a nine-month hiatus in programming due to the Carnegie International, this inspiring exhibit is a great comeback. The exhibit is smaller than others in the past with two areas of the HAC dedicated to the annual architecture summer camp for kids, rather than the exhibition alone. Still, the pieces on display are mighty, and the variety of the techniques presented is very entertaining. Founded in 1979 by the Pritzker family, the international prize is awarded annually to a living...
Still Crazy After 31 Years
The Architects Softball League
By Maya Henry, COLUMNS editor Posted on May 16, 2019
The Cullen & Associates team in 2008. Photo courtesy John Cullen. Imagine this. It’s 1985 and the first pick-up game of what would later become the Pittsburgh Architects Softball League is taking place. Architects from Damianos and Associates, and L.D. Astorino & Associates are playing each other. Syl Damianos, FAIA and Lou Astorino, FAIA are pitching for their teams, respectively… batter up! When John Cullen started the league in 1985 he never imagined it would last over 31 years, that it would foster so many friendships and that so many firms and principals would field players over the years. It started so informally, with those first pick-up games and just a desire to get out of the office and have...
Bill Bates, FAIA Speaks with David Lewis, FAIA on Mentorship
“It’s a powerful tool.”
By Maya Henry Posted on April 18, 2019
In this interview, Bill Bates, FAIA, current President of AIA National, interviews David Lewis, FAIA about mentorship. When the camera starts rolling, Mr. Lewis shares how his work was informed by early experiences in South Africa and the story of how the AIA helped to lay the foundation for what would become Urban Design Associates. The video, which premiered at AIA Grassroots in March, was commissioned by AIA National and shot by Pittsburgh-based Anthem Video. Stephen Kraus of Anthem reflected on what it was like to work with Mr. Lewis: “When I first met David Lewis, it was while carrying two large rolling cases full of video equipment right through his living room. Instead of being unnerved by the micro film crew trying...