Text description provided by the architects. The Frick Environmental Center (FEC), the world’s first publicly accessible, free admission Living Building Challenge-targeted project, will be unveiled to the public for the first time in a Public Celebration on Saturday, September 10 from 10am – 6pm. Designed by renowned architecture firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (BCJ), the building will be a world-class center for environmental education.
A joint venture between the City of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, the FEC will act as a gateway to the 644-acre Frick Park. The building will be a living laboratory, designed and engineered to achieve Living Building Challenge and LEED Platinum standards, and providing experiential learning to a projected 20,000 K-12 students and hundreds of thousands of people who visit Frick Park each year.
The Conservancy now has a home base for its growing environmental education programs, which are offered to students in Pittsburgh’s public schools. Fully equipped classrooms, offices, and support spaces provide the much-needed amenities for the Conservancy’s award-winning programs, while a public ‘living room’ and gallery space welcome park visitors to stop in to learn more about the park’s history and extensive trails, and the sustainability of the building.
The design and construction team, led by BCJ and regional construction powerhouse PJ Dick, collaborated with the City and Parks Conservancy throughout the design process, which included extensive community outreach. More than 1,000 community stakeholders provided feedback, helping to define programmatic elements such as the Slavery to Freedom Garden and rain veil art installation. The project continues a long history of design excellence by engaging with and restoring many of the site’s original historic features including the John Russell Pope-designed gatehouses, as well as the allée and fountain, which were part of the original Innocenti and Webel 1935 Masterplan.