There’s a cup, ring, medal or prize for just about every field, and while architects might not be seen as local heroes, they are the ones who make Pittsburgh look, well, like Pittsburgh.
After a week of exploring Pittsburgh’s design during the second annual Architecture Week hosted by the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects, specific structures and individuals were honored on Thursday night at the Design Pittsburgh awards.
A jury of Buffalo architects judged nearly 65 buildings — categorized as small, medium or large — on their design, diversity, sustainability and functionality. Also bestowed were the Social Impact Award, the Peoples’ Choice Award and the Young Architects Studio Competition.
Here are the 2023 Design Pittsburgh award winners:
Social Impact Award
Clairton Inn Apartments, Clairton. LGA Partners. Jury comments: “It is clear that the design and development team sincerely engaged with the community very early in the design process. The approach is sensitive and carefully integrates the existing structure with the new construction to create a desirable streetscape.”
Small Projects: Certificates of Merit
Ritual House, Downtown. NEXT architecture. Jury comments: “The strong concepts carried through the spatial zones create multiple levels of experience for patrons that do not disappoint. Blending design elements from various time periods creates a funky, charming and colorful experience. The sum of these eclectic design decisions ensures an authentic and memorable dining experience.”
La Prima Espresso Company, Downtown. DLA+ Architecture & Interior Design. Jury comments: “A simple, but clever wooden intervention that creates a lot of impact with limited scope. The design improves visibility for the cafe by embracing a pesky existing condition rather than simply masking it.”
Flemish51 on Butler, Lawrenceville. mossArchitects. Jury comments: “The design approach develops a relationship between the old and new, using a steel structure to imply a third story that is home to a rooftop patio. Sophisticated brickwork along with the introduction of greenery creates a stunning facade and the attention to the interior details of the wooden stair is commendable.”
Medium Projects: Certificates of Merit
Godfrey Landing Residence, Gilpin Township, Armstrong County. mossArchitects. Jury comments: “The organizational parti of Godfrey Landing successfully responds to the unique conditions of a residence adjacent to a waterway and within a floodplain. This parti operates in both plan, through the separation of the public from private spaces, and in section, by lifting the primary living spaces above the floodplain.”
Chatham Anderson Dining Hall, Squirrel Hill. Rothschild Doyno Collaborative. Jury comments: “Chatham Dining Hall is effectively transformed by the introduction of a faux skylight. The impact of this one element is astounding and its contrast with the wooden ceiling and raw steel columns generates an elegant composition.”
Medium Projects: Honor Awards
Willkommen on Vine, Cincinnati, Ohio. GBBN. Jury comments: “There is a timeless quality to the facade that utilizes new technologies and brick-coursing research to create an elegant interpretation of a classic design element: the bay window. The articulation of the thickened windows in the facade improves access to daylight without compromising privacy for residents. … This project is a showcase of the positive impact excellent design can have on affordable housing.”
Penn Atlantic Building, Garfield. mossArchitects. Jury comments: “The reconstruction of the podium building as part of the massing strategy is a successful nod to the past history of this land. … The physical depth as well as material composition of brick, corten steel and frosted glass is stunning and integrates raw materials that embrace Pittsburgh’s industrial heritage.”
Large Projects: Certificates of Merit
Fifth & Clyde Residence Hall and Neighborhood Commons at Carnegie Mellon University, Oakland. PWWG Architects. Jury comments: “The three-dimensional massing strategy results in an elegant level of complexity to both the exterior as well as the interior. The spatial carving strategy generates clear results in how the building meets the ground, how it responds to the street, and how it becomes part of the fabric of the city.”
Penn State Health Hampden Medical Center, Enola, PA. CannonDesign. Jury comments: “The formal use of the meandering curve is a multi-scalar strategy that relates the building to the land of Appalachia, the exterior to the interior, the circulation space to the functional space, and the space to the furnishings.”
Large Projects: Honor Award
Eighth & Penn, Downtown. PWWG Architects. Jury comments: “This innovative project successfully integrates existing structures on the historical registry with a series of careful additions that manage the overall scale of the intervention. Examples include the way in which the building nimbly engages with the street life of the city while adding a pedestrian passageway between 7th and 8th streets.”
People’s Choice Award
West Virginia University Medicine Children’s Hospital, Morgantown, West Virginia. IKM Architecture.
The Young Architects Studio Competition Award of Excellence
“Confluence Chronicles: Navigating Pittsburgh’s Rivers.” LGA Partners. Jury comments: “This entry was so successful that the jury felt that each site can be broken out as standalone entries and still be maintained as a convincing solution.”