Urban Incubator

Spring 2017|   2 Month Long Project  |  Completed Individually

Our final project for semester four. We were given a site in East Liberty - the most gentrified neighborhood in Pittsburgh. We were tasked with designing a space that could house several tech start ups and a new media art gallery. Our site was bordered by the Carnegie Library of East Liberty and the historic Ace Hotel.

For my designs, I strove to create a space that was small and cost effective, but also flexible and able to suit the many different needs of the occupants. We also spent a lot of time researching new media art, and I decided that the approach that I would take towards housing the art, was to create a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces that the artists could manipulate to their needs. 

I broke my design up into three parts (tech offices, new media art spaces, and cafe) that I imagined as pieces of a puzzle fitting together to form one building. The three pieces wrap around to form a central courtyard that the galleries and cafe (the two more public programatic elements) open onto. The tech offices each have their own "storefront" facing South Beatty Street, but they have a public entrance from the court yard, as well.

One of the unique aspects of my building is the amount of space that it gives back to the community of East Liberty. In addition to the courtyard, the majority of the roof of the building is a green roof, with large stadium-like seating leading up to it. This roof-top park has an interesting relationship with the second floor gallery. The wall of the gallery facing the roof can pivot open, transforming the space inside, into a stage with the green roof becoming an amphitheater. 


On this first floor plan, you can clearly see how the spaces wrap around to frame a central courtyard.

The second floor plan shows the upper art gallery and the green roof that slopes to face it.

This section takes photographs taken on the site and overlays my design on top of them. This shows the scale of the spaces, as well as their scale in relation to the surrounding buildings.

These two sections focus on the dynamic wall of the upper gallery. When it is closed, images or films can be projected onto it and these can be viewed from the grass roof. Then, when it pivots open, the gallery transforms into a stage.

These diagrams show the organizational ideas of the space, and the expected circulation through the space.

These collage style renders, give a more human perspective of the spaces in and around the building.