Glass Lofts / Front Studio Architects

© Ed Massery

Commissioned by the Friendship Development Associates (FDA) as a central player in its community revitalization program, the Glass Lofts are a new mixed-use construction consisting of 39,000 sqf artist’s work spaces, 18 loft condominiums, retail and restaurant space, FDA offices and a flexible-use community space. Located at the center of the Penn Avenue Arts District, the Glass Lofts is the result of a community-driven planning process actively involving neighborhood residents, artists and business owners in the development of the project.

Follow the break for more photographs and drawings of the Glass Lofts by Front Studio Architects.

Architects: Front Studio Architects
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,
Client: Friendship Development Associates
Contractor: Sota Construction Services, Inc
Project Area: 39,000 sqf
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Ed Massery

© Ed Massery

The driving force behind the architecture of The Glass Lofts is an idea of incomplete. Instead of seeing architecture as an absolute and final presence, the Glass Lofts are purposefully made incomplete. The users and the inevitability of time passing become essential forces in shaping, and thus completing the architecture. Neither literally nor physically incomplete, the Glass Lofts is incomplete in that it allows for and believes in change as an essential contributor to the overall design.


At the core of incompleteness, are The Commons, a place for human action where: change is made manifest, the predictable and the unexpected meet and where users interpret and complete the space.

floor plans + section
© Ed Massery

The architecture invites interactivity by embracing the incomplete — engendering in its users diverse experiences of connection on the realm of the physical, intellectual, and emotional. The architecture demands of its users and viewers an open mind and a full engagement of their senses and mind. The Glass Lofts is a space fluid in its being, imperfect and incomplete – waiting to be transformed by the people who will live and use it.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Glass Lofts / Front Studio Architects" 11 Jan 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 May 2015. <>
  • Holcim Awards US

    Nice design. I love the bold colors and playful forms. really wonderful collaboration with the community!

  • archie

    kinda spatial…

  • majchers

    Wonderful and bravo! I love it! Both thumbs up for a bit of… jazz!

  • Liz

    These look great here. I am wondering why you did not include any interior images. It was very disappointing when I toured the lofts. While the ideas seem to have high design concepts and look great from outside, and from far away, the execution seems sloppy and appears unfinished. The exposed plywood walls and duct work do not give a rustic feel, but one that feels cheaply made. I was hoping for more as a neighbor.

  • Sable

    umMfUk That’s way more clever than I was expecting. Thanks!

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  • Claire

    I like it .