The Master Builders’ Association of Western Pennsylvania (MBA) has announced the finalists for its Building Excellence Awards of 2019. Winning projects will be announced at the Construction Industry Evening of Excellence on February 27 at the Heinz Field East Club.

Amid the development boom happening around Pittsburgh, these are the buildings expected to withstand the test of time.

The MBA Building Excellence Award finalists include:

Tepper Quad at Carnegie Mellon University. Photo courtesy of Tepper School of Business.

Carnegie Mellon University/David A. Tepper Quadrangle, PJ Dick Incorporated — New construction over $25 million

At 300,000 square feet and a cost of $201 million, the Quadrangle on Carnegie Mellon’s campus is a big deal for the school’s top-ranked Tepper School of Business — which is expected to grow in enrollment by 40 percent. It features a 600-seat auditorium, fitness center and the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship. The complex is designed with “accidental meeting spaces” scattered throughout.

The Quad brings the Tepper School from the edge to the middle of campus, in an extremely prominent spot along Forbes Avenue. The yellow brick exterior is an homage to the Kittanning brick used in the original campus’ buildings designed by Henry Hornbostel. It’s also designed to a LEED Gold standard of sustainability, by Moore Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners of Santa Monica and Renaissance 3 Architects of Pittsburgh.

What will happen there? “You’re a robot; I’m a spreadsheet,” says Bryan Routledge, associate professor of finance. “We meet and get coffee. Pretty soon, there’s a business.”

Photo courtesy of Ed Massery, Massery Photography, Inc.

MuseumLab at Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Mascaro Construction Company — Renovation construction over $10 million

The 219-year-old Carnegie Free Library of Allegheny had been empty since it was struck by lightning in 2006. Now, it’s part of an expanding campus for older children, giving kids ages 10 and up a more mature place to learn and create.

MuseumLab has restored many of the building’s original features, including soaring arches, mosaic tile floors and a decorative terra cotta entryway. This impressive project features a maker lab, with tools like 3D printers, laser cutters, computer and game design systems, as well as woodworking tools like a lathe and scroll saw. There’s also a tech lab, which gives kids the ability to explore coding and virtual reality, created in a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center.

The building was originally designed by Smithmeyer and Pelz, the architects who designed the Library of Congress. The update was undertaken by Koning Eizenberg Architecture and Perfido Weiskopf Wagstaff + Goettel.

fl.2. Photo courtesy of the Master Builders’ Association of Western Pennsylvania.

fl.2 Restaurant Renovation, Allegheny Construction Group — Renovation construction under $5 million

Inside one of Pittsburgh’s best-looking hotels, the Fairmont, is one of its best-looking restaurants, fl.2. This was an international collaboration between renowned designer-architect Lazaro Rosa-Violan of Barcelona and construction manager Giulio Artico of Toronto, Allegheny Construction Group and Pittsburgh’s mossArchitects.

The restaurant is built around a massive oval bar, with a brass canopy and overhead mirrors. The space features mid-century style, accented with vintage metallic finishes and modern woodwork.

Other finalists include:

New construction over $25 million:

The Bridge on Forbes. Contractor: Rycon Construction

New construction between $10 and $25 million:

Bobby Rahal South Hills Jaguar/Land Rover Dealership. Contractor: Dick Building Company

AHN Cancer Institute, Butler. Contractor: Mascaro Construction Company

New construction under $10 million

The Heights at Thorn Hill, Phase 1. Contractor: Burchick Construction Company

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Carrick. Contractor: Massaro Corporation

Renovation construction over $10 million

West Virginia University Medicine Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute Center for Innovation. Contractor: Landau Building Company

Renovation construction between $5 and $10 million 

UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, Third Floor Renovation. Contractor: Mascaro Construction Company

Phipps Exhibit Staging Center. Contractor: Massaro Corporation

Phipps Exhibit Staging Center. Photo courtesy of the Master Builders’ Association of Western Pennsylvania.

Renovation construction under $5 million 

Cathedral of Learning 22nd and 23rd Floor Renovations. Contractor: AIMS Construction

Excellence in craftsmanship–Interior construction

Penn State School of Music Recital Hall. Contractor: Giffin Interior & Fixture

West Virginia University Medicine Rockefeller Neurological Institute Atrium Addition. Contractor: Giffin Interior & Fixture

Excellence in craftsmanship–Exterior construction

Allegheny County Courthouse, Phase 1. Contractor: Cuddy Roofing Company

Tenaska Westmoreland Generating Station. Contractor: PJ Dick Incorporated

Michael Machosky

Michael Machosky is a writer and journalist with 18 years of experience writing about everything from development news, food and film to art, travel, books and music. He lives in Greenfield with his wife,...