South Bronx Gondola

Inwood Squiggle

Pittsburgh Center For Technology and Innovation

SITE: Pittsburgh, PA

YEAR: Undergrad Senior - 2018, Semester 2

UNIVERSITY: Kent State University

DURATION OF PROJECT: 4 months

The Center for Technology and Innovation rejuvenates the cultural district of Pittsburgh by bringing in new technologies to showcase to the public while also activating the site with an open plaza, commercial spaces, and public terraces. The building’s form, facade, and rainwater collection system set an example for the innovation that can happen within the city of Pittsburgh.

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The Center for Technology and Innovation (CTI) sits in the center of the cultural district in downtown Pittsburgh on the corner of 9th street and Penn Avenue. The cultural district stretches from 6th street to 10th street and is known for the cluster of old galleries and theaters. Modern-day Pittsburgh is currently trying to shift towards a technological city as the markets throughout America change. Pittsburgh City Schools play a major role for the city in terms of introducing technological schools in the downtown area. Our building intends to fuse technology and the city’s eagerness to educate.

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Figure 1: Nodes of Activity

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CTI will pair with pittsburgh's schools by bringing a 3-floor museum space for new technology to be studied and learned while fitting into the historic existing urban fabric of the cultural district. The upper floors of the building will be used as office space for technology companies and local cultural district businesses that have been in the area. The building's footprint helps create pockets of activity around the site, including a dynamic new public promenade leading to the river.

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Figure 2: New promenade along west facade

The structural system used throughout the building is a steel diagrid. The building is completely glazed so that the steel diagrid  is on display to the city of Pittsburgh, which is historically known as “The Steel City.” On the outside of the glazing is a screen that ripples across the building. The screen follows the angles of the diagrid as it represents Pittsburgh’s constant drive towards innovation like the flow of the rivers surrounding the city.

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Figure 3: West Facade Elevation

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Figure 4: West to East Section

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Figure 5: Stormwater Flow Diagram

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Pittsburgh has 155 wet days (42%) throughout the year. Our design uses this to our advantage by implementing a rainwater catchment system. We have a water pumping room on our first floor that holds a cistern that will treat the stormwater. This greywater will then be reused throughout our building’s restrooms. The rainwater that hits our East and West facade will be collected by a catchment that attaches to our floor plates. The water will flow through a pipe system that connects to our 1st-floor cistern. The pipes will be heated to melt the collected snow during the winter months so that this system can still be used for stormwater collection.

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Figure 6: Wall Section showing facade connection and rainwater catchment

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