Archive for ‘EDGE Studio’

September 2, 2011

Gateway Center Station | EDGE Studio, Pfaffmann & Associates

Architect: EDGE StudioPfaffmann & Associates
Location: Pittsburgh, 
 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

In 2003, EDGE studio and Pfaffmann & Associates collaborated and won a competition to design the Port Authority’s new Gateway LRT Station. The station is located along one side of an under-utilized triangular parcel of land in the heart of Pittsburgh’s famed “Golden Triangle”. It is currently under construction, scheduled for completion in 2011.

For transit stations to be successful in the 21st Century, they must become part of the urban fabric of the city. To achieve this integration, stations must serve as more than just stops for passengers to board and depart transit vehicles. They must become part of the overall experience of the city.

Pittsburgh is known for its world renowned view of the city experienced by travelers exiting the Fort Pitt Tunnels and crossing the Fort Pitt Bridge. The new Gateway Station is situated to serve as the terminus to this famous procession of views into Pittsburgh’s city center. Considering the importance if its location, The Port Authority along with its consultants saw the opportunity for the station to serve as the catalyst for development of the entire triangular site, which had previously been undeveloped property.

The designers developed a concept referencing this “Gateway Experience”. Using this term to describe the experience of entering Pittsburgh via the Fort Pitt Tunnels and Bridge, they sought to develop a similar experience when entering the City via the proposed under river transit tunnel of the North Shore Connector Project. A sloped plaza was designed adjacent to the station in the triangular parcel of property allows the underground track level wall of the station to be opened up to permit views out of the station into the city for arriving LRT passengers.

This Gateway Plaza serves as a view shed through which transit passengers enjoy their first views of the city. Conversely, the station platform serves as a stage for people enjoying the plaza who are able to watch people and trains arriving at and departing Gateway Station.

A number of techniques were used to achieve these goals. Working with lead project engineer, AECOM, the designers utilized conventional drawing, model building and Building information Modeling (BIM) to establish track alignments in relation to street level arrangements, and to assist in defining the extent and configuration of the station box, the headhouse and proposed civic plaza.

Using the principles defined in the RFP documents and interview process, the proposal evolved into a design solution that responds to both the needs of the Port Authority and the community at large:

• GATEWAY EXPERIENCE: Early on in the design process it was clear to us that establishing the “gateway experience” for passengers arriving at Gateway Station to celebrate their arrival to downtown Pittsburgh, should rival the motorist’s experience having traveled through the Fort Pitt tunnel, over the bridge and arriving in the city.

• SENSE OF PLACE: The Gateway station site is positioned at a critical intersection in the city’s urban fabric.

• DAYLIGHTING & VENTILATION: The station box was opened on its western side to introduce daylight to the platform.

• PEDESTRIAN CIRCULATION: The station headhouse provides clear visual cues to the open-ended structure. As an added benefit the public open space provides additional pedestrian capacity during large events.

• TRANSPARENCY: We developed a strategy to minimize visual impact of station “headhouse” on surrounding context through use of transparent materials and innovative geometries of the structural system.

August 27, 2011

Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation | EDGE Studio, Nbbj


Architect: EDGE StudioNbbj
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Project Team : Gary Carlough AIA, Jeff King AIA, Mick McNutt AIA, Stephen Mrdjenovich
Project Team Nbbj: Doug Parris AIA, A.J. Montero AIA, Kathy Kelly AIA
Project Area: 22,000sqf
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Ed Massery

The  decided to expand and renovate Benedum Hall, the 1960′s home for the Swanson School of Engineering on Pitt’s main campus in Oakland. The original limestone clad modernist tower and disconnected auditorium buildings had become obsolete, as the school’s focus shifted to the 21st century disciplines of nanotechnology, bioengineering, and materials research. As a result, EDGE Studio and Nbbj have designed a more flexible facility that is advantageous to inter-departmental cooperation, and helps attract the best and brightest research faculty and students from around the world.

The project has two segments: a 22,000 square foot addition to house the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation, and a full renovation in phases of the existing buildings, including full upgrades to all mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and life safety systems.

The project started with an extensive master planning and programming phase, with the often conflicting needs and desires of over 70 research faculty and administrators. Both the addition and renovations were completed while the building remained fully occupied and functional, making the planning, move management, and construction management a significant challenge.

The addition, housing the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation, forms a raised link on the site’s north side between the original tower and auditorium. A poured-in-place concrete structure carefully threads its way through the existing basement and subbasement lab spaces below, expressed by the large sloped piers supporting the building over O’Hara Street.

The metal panel and curtain-wall-clad addition contains computer labs, conference spaces, and administrative spaces, which acts as a laboratory for cross disciplinary research into sustainable building and product design. It also contains a new four story open stair hall, linking the three buildings of the assembly, forming a new entry down to the original building’s basement which has been opened up to house a new Teaching / Learning Center.

The project achieved LEED Gold Certification. However, the most important sustainable characteristic is the work that goes on inside, researching into water use, energy use, building construction systems, and collaborations with sustainable technology industries.