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HAC Lab Pittsburgh: Imagining the Modern

The city of Pittsburgh encountered and was transformed by modern architecture in an ambitious program of urban revitalization in the 1950s and ’60s. HAC Lab Pittsburgh: Imagining the Modern untangles Pittsburgh’s complicated relationship with modern architecture and urban planning. This experimental presentation at Carnegie Museum of Art’s Heinz Architectural Center includes abundant archival materials from the period, an active architecture studio, and a salon-style discussion space, unearthing layers of history and a range of perspectives.

Ten Buildings Which Epitomize The Triumph Of Postmodernism

Being such a recent movement in the international architectural discourse, the reach and significance of post-modernism can sometimes go unnoticed. In this selection, chosen by Adam Nathaniel Furman, the "incredibly rich, extensive and complex ecosystem of projects that have grown out of the initial explosion of postmodernism from the 1960s to the early 1990s" are placed side by side for our delight.

From mosques that imagine an idyllic past, via Walt Disney’s Aladdin from the 1990s, to a theatre in Moscow that turns its façade into a constructivist collage of classical scenes, "there are categories in post-modernism to be discovered, and tactics to be learned." These projects trace forms of complex stylistic figuration, from the high years of academic postmodernism, to the more popular of its forms that spread like wildfire in the latter part of the 20th century.

2014: A Great Year for Landscape Architecture

By all accounts 2014 has been a great year for landscape architecture, and not just because of the completion of the final phase of the High Line by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and James Corner Field Operations. Previously published by the Huffington Post as "2014's Notable Developments in Landscape Architecture," this roundup of the year by the President of The Cultural Landscape Foundation Charles A Birnbaum finds plenty of promising developments, marred only slightly by some more backward-looking descisions.

This year there was a cultural shift that saw landscape architecture and its practitioners achieve an unprecedented level of visibility and influence.

This year the single most notable development came courtesy of the New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman who wrote: "Great public places and works of landscape architecture deserve to be treated like great buildings."

Landscape architecture and architecture on equal footing. Let that sink in.

AD Classics: PPG Place / John Burgee Architects with Philip Johnson

via Wikipedia Commons
via Wikipedia Commons

The design of PPG Place, by Philip Johnson and John Burgee, melds the notion of the modern corporate tower with a neo-gothic monument. Clad in almost a million square feet of glass manufactured by the anchor tenant PPG industries, the architects ingeniously rethought accepted practices in curtain wall design to create "the crown jewel in Pittsburgh's skyline." (1)  The 1.57 million square foot complex was one in a series of high profile corporate projects completed during Johnson's controversial foray into postmodernism.

Night view of fountain and tower. Image © Highwoods Properties 2014 Glass reflections. Image © Highwoods Properties 2014 © Flickr user nooccar Ground Level Plan

Center for Sustainable Landscapes / The Design Alliance Architects

Courtesy of Denmarsh Photography
Courtesy of Denmarsh Photography

Courtesy of Denmarsh Photography Courtesy of Denmarsh Photography Courtesy of Denmarsh Photography Courtesy of Denmarsh Photography

Plan Envisages Reusing Pittsburghs Industrial Past to Bring The City Closer Together

With the advent of the High Line and the recent announcement about Chicago's Bloomingdale Trail, it's becoming clear that the 'parkway' is a powerful new force in urban planning, which has the potential to change the way cities around the world function. A new project in Pittsburgh seeks to harness these possibilities, as the city's history of industry has left its stamp upon the city in the form of a rusting industrial riverfront. A plan by Saski Associates envisages re-using this space to create a green belt, tying the city closer together. By adding pedestrian, cycling and light-rail transport routes, and creating plenty of green spaces, they hope to tap Pittsburgh's unrealized potential to be a river-front city, while encouraging geographical and social closeness amongst its communities.

More images and the architect’s description after the break…

Kaufmann Program Center / Renaissance 3 Architects

  • Architects: Renaissance 3 Architects
  • Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Client: Hill House Association
  • General Contractor: Massaro Corporation
  • Area: 20500.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2011
  • Photographs: Ed Massery

© Ed Massery © Ed Massery © Ed Massery © Ed Massery

Carnegie Mellon Spring 2012 Lecture Series

Known for drawing in a diverse background of well-known architects, Carnegie Mellon School of Architecture‘s spring 2012 lecture series began January 23rd with Jesse Seppi and concludes with Tatiana Bilbao on April 23rd. All events will take place at the Carnegie Museum complex and the series is co-sponsored by the Heinz Archiectural Center at Carnegie Museum of Art. A schedule of the lecture series can be viewed after the break.

The Mobius: Portal to the Point / Weiss/Manfredi

© Weiss/Manfredi. Aerial Perspective
© Weiss/Manfredi. Aerial Perspective

Our friends from Weiss/Manfredi have shared their Portal to the Point Design Ideas Exploration proposal, a project exploring the connection between city and the environment for Point State Park in the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Currently, Point State Park, which is located at the geographic epicenter of Pittsburgh, does not take advantage of its potential to bridge the city, which is built on industrial accomplishments, with the river banks of the Allegheny and the Monogahela, both of which have granted Pittsburgh a prosperous ecological history. Weiss/Manfredi’s proposal attempts to stitch the city and its river banks together with a new brigde typology, a Mobius Pathway that is “not about the singular act of connecting two disparate parts, but about the comprehensive connectivity of a larger network.” More about the Mobius Pathway after the break.

Portal to the Point proposal / wHY Design

Portal to the Point is a design project initiated to honor the completion of renovations to Pittsburgh’s most visible National Historic Landmark, Point State Park. wHY Architecture is one of five finalists selected to redefine the space beneath the Portal Bridge that leads into 36-acre park.

Continue reading for more project information and renderings.

Andrea Palladio's Works on Display

© Royal Institute of British Architects, British Architectural Library, V/3
© Royal Institute of British Architects, British Architectural Library, V/3

Architect Andrea Palladio’s (1508–1580) influence can be found throughout the world in monumental architectural works on both sides of the Atlantic. His Four Books on Architecture (1570) are some of the most famous and influential writings on architectural theory. The Royal Institute of British Architects Trust in conjunction with the Centro Internazionale di Studi di Architettura Andrea Palladio, Vicenza, has organized a traveling exhibition called Palladio and His Legacy: A Transatlantic Journey. This display will offer up a unique opportunity to view the numerous works, drawings, and models of one of the most influential architects of the last 500 years. Hosted by the Carnegie Museum of Art in their Heinz Architectural Center, the exhibition will run from September 3-December 31, 2011.

10 Up and Coming Urban Neighborhoods

Photo by David Hilowitz
Photo by David Hilowitz

USA Today has put together a list of city neighborhoods which are satiated with activity, areas which offer a “great slice of urban life.” These districts trend from the urban vicinity to its very core, each in itself exemplifying the revitalization of the American city. The list includes regions which have been influenced by deliberate urban revitalization projects, such as High Line Park in Chelsea; while other neighborhoods have experienced an influx of a younger populace which has contributed to its growth, such as Lawrenceville in Pittsburgh. See the 10 Up and Coming Urban Neighborhoods after the break.

In Progress: Gateway Center Station / EDGE Studio, Pfaffmann & Associates

© Carl Bergamini, Pfaffmann & Associates
© Carl Bergamini, Pfaffmann & Associates

Architect: EDGE Studio, Pfaffmann & Associates Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania EDGE Studio Design Team: Gary Carlough AIA, Jonathan Golli, Matt Fineout AIA, Stephen Mrdjenovich Pfaffmann & Associates Design Team: Rob Pfaffmann AIA, Carl Bergamini RA, Erik Hokanson Completion Date: 2011 Photography: Carl Bergamini, Pfaffmann & Associates

© Carl Bergamini, Pfaffmann & Associates © Carl Bergamini, Pfaffmann & Associates © Carl Bergamini, Pfaffmann & Associates © Carl Bergamini, Pfaffmann & Associates

Detroit: Urban Renewal and the Great Recession

Photo by ifmuth - http://www.flickr.com/photos/ifmuth/
Photo by ifmuth - http://www.flickr.com/photos/ifmuth/

The recession that began in 2007 technically ended in 2009, but you wouldn’t know it from visiting Detroit. The capital of U.S. auto manufacturing has been hit particularly hard, and stories of its plight during the economic downturn abound. Less reported, though, are the ideas and proposals put forth to return this city to its former glory. The urban renewal projects proposed are some of the latest in a long line of design projects that attempt to bring renewed prosperity and well being to the downtrodden sections of cities throughout the world. More on urban renewal and Detroit after the break.

Tower at PNC Plaza / Gensler

© Gensler
© Gensler

The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., currently the sixth largest bank in the United States, is a leader in green design, currently possessing over 100 green buildings. PNC was an early adopter of sustainable design, opening its first green building in 2000. PNC and Gensler have recently announced plans to design and construct the world’s most environmentally friendly skyscraper at PNC’s headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. More information and images after the break.

Gates Center for Computer Science and Hillman Center for Future Generation Technologies / Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects

  • Architects: Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects
  • Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Core Project Team: Mack Scogin (Principal), Merrill Elam (Principal), Lloyd Bray (Senior Project Architect),
  • Associate Architect: Gensler
  • Project Team: B Vithayathawornwong, Dennis Sintic, Carrie Hunsicker, Misty Boykin, Barnum Tiller, Matt Weaver, John Trefry, Margaret Fletcher, Helen Han, Ben Arenberg, Brian Bell, Francesco Giacobello, Daniel Cashen, Janna Kauss, Patrick Jones, Cayce Bean, Jeff Kemp, Anja Turowski, Bo Roberts, Matthew Leach, Gary McGaha, Ted Paxton, Britney Bagby, Jacob Coburn, Amanda Crawley, Reed Simonds
  • Local Architect: EDGE studio
  • Landscape Architect:  Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates
  • Civil And Geotechnical Engineer: Civil and Environmental Consultants
  • Specifications Consulting: Collective Wisdom
  • Pausch Bridge Lighting Design: C & C Lighting
  • Parking Consultant: Tim Haahs
  • Geotechnical Engineer: Construction Engineering Consultants
  • Digital Assets Manager: CHBH
  • Cost Consultant: Heery International
  • Hardware Consultant: Ingersoll Rand Security and Safety
  • Facade Assessment: Wiss, Janny, Elstner Associates
  • Construction Manager: P. J. Dick, Incorporated
  • Surveyor: Gateway Engineers
  • Area: 208000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2009
  • Photographs: Timothy Hursley, Courtesy of Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects

© Timothy Hursley Courtesy of Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects © Timothy Hursley © Timothy Hursley

Liberty Medical Center / Front Studio Architects

  • Architects: Front Studio Architects
  • Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Architects: Front Studio Architects
  • Client: Albanese Properties
  • Contractor: MM Marra Construction
  • Area: 20000.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2009
  • Photographs: Ed Massery

© Ed Massery © Ed Massery © Ed Massery