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pittsburgh architecture

Architecture Pittsburgh

Giovannitti House

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Over the summer I noticed the Giovannitti house was posted on a realtor site for sale. A while back I was invited for a tour but due to crazy schedules, I missed my chance. This is always a regret of mine but next best thing is seeing beautiful photos online.

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Photos by Allison Pochapin

Architect Richard Meier started construction on this gem in 1979 and finished it in 1983. Meier is known for creating most of his work in white and I think it works for his projects. When you look over his portfolio, it makes an interesting statement.

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This house isn’t for everyone but I see it as a piece art. There’s no other place like this in Pittsburgh! Made up of concrete, glass panes, glass blocks and timber, the Giovannitt’s have kept it up nicely. I can’t imagine how to keep the white clean on the outside, especially during our winters.

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The design of the exterior looks like a sculpture to me.

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I posted a couple photos of this house in 2012 and since then, I get emails and comments at a rate that I didn’t expect. Please note, I do not know the status of the place. They might have sold it or decided to stay. I also have NO personal contact with the owners. I’m posting this because I admire this house and I think it’s a work of art.

Architecture

Fort Duquesne and Sixth Parking Garage


Photo by Pfaffmann + Associates
 
I came across a photo of this garage on Flickr this morning and started digging around for more. I think it’s one of the most stylish parking garages I have ever seen! It received a make over from Pfaffmann + Associates (not sure how long ago). I just know when I pass it now, it really pops out at me and if you weren’t from this city, you might not even know it’s a garage. Most garages look like they are an afterthought to all the other buildings surrounding them. I think more of them need to be treated like the one here on Fort Duquesne & Sixth!

Photo by David Kent


Photo by Artefaqs

Architecture

EDGE Studio

I am positive you have seen a few of EDGE Studio’s projects around our city. EDGE Studio was established in 1995 and it’s two main principles are Anne Chen and Gary Carlough with a team behind them that creates a lot of stunning architecture projects around Pittsburgh. They have been featured in publications such as Dwell magazine and just won three awards from AIA Pittsburgh.
 

I have to say that this was one of the first firms I fell in love with while living away from here. Within the past few years we all have witnessed a huge change in the buildings that surround us with a mix of modern and historic sitting side by side. In my opinion, EDGE Studio has played such a big part in this new direction and look that our city has taken.
 
EDGE was kind enough to take some time out to give us a tour of their office space on Penn Avenue and also sent me the latest projects they have worked on.

Erie Art Museum
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Architecture

Modern Squirrel Hill Home

This home was done by local architect Mary Cerrone and sits in Squirrel Hill. I have driven by this place and it’s not too far from my home. I absolutely love it! The outside is very boxy, modern with a bright white exterior but the inside has a nice warm feel to it. It has been around for a few years and won a Design Merit Award, back in 2007 by Pittsburgh Magazine.

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Architecture

Modern Shadyside Home

I have seen this home in Shadyside but I just came across this write up in DWELL magazine. Owner Jeff Walz turned an old farmhouse into a modern home made up of recycled steel and glass. Well I should say he literally didn’t do it all himself but with the help of local architect Harry Levine. I would really love to see this space but for now here a couple photos that are courtesy of DWELL’s site:

The leafy streets of the Pittsburgh neighborhood known as Shadyside are filled with massive, robber baron–era mansions and modest workers’ cottages—brick-and-mortar relics of a once-burgeoning steel industry. There are even a few modernist gems, by the likes of Breuer, Meier, and Venturi. What’s been absent, until recently, is a domicile that most closely resembles a shipping container.

Not that its owner, Jeff Walz, was looking to be provocative when he purchased the charming, 140-year-old farmhouse—interior sight unseen—that once sat upon the lot. But there was nothing quaint, or remotely salvageable, about the dry rot and mildew that greeted him once he ventured inside.

“I was afraid I’d have to flip it,” recalls Walz, who was then director of corporate relations for Carnegie Mellon University and now heads up university relations for Google. “But then I met Harry.” He is referring to architect Harry Levine, an amiable bundle of energy endowed with several heads’ worth of salt-and-pepper hair, whose home and office are about a block away from each other. In between is a phalanx of bars, restaurants, and cafés—many of them Levine’s former projects—which double as informal clubhouses for a coterie of friends who take genuine pleasure in bumping into one another several times a day.

Walz’s immediate inspiration was a workshop and snug mezzanine apartment self-built by one of the Shadyside gang from a metal prefab kit for about $50,000. Jazzed up with automotive paint, its green, blue, and yellow exterior appears downright giddy compared to Walz’s austere gray shell. “Jeff’s a real idea guy,” says Levine, clearly delighted with both client and challenge. “He could have built something far less extreme—we could have stick-framed it—but he wanted to be on the edge of something new. And he loved the idea of celebrating steel here in Pittsburgh.”

This house looks like it would stick out in this neighborhood and it sort of does. It doesn’t make me think that it doesn’t belong but instead it’s a nice addition to the old brick homes in the area. I always like to think that mixing modern architecture in with the old is a good thing. I love at the end of the story Jeff says this about his home:

“From the outside, I know my house can be a little startling,” says Walz, who plans to spend the next few months pottering around it. “But it makes me happy. During the day, you feel like you’re outdoors. And at night, it glows like a big glass lantern. It’s quite beautiful.”

I would really be interested in seeing more of Harry Levine’s work but unfortunately he doesn’t seem to have a website. You can read the entire story and process over on DWELL’s website.