SOCIAL EDUCATION Pittsburgh,PA

Spring 2015 | Jeffrey Davis & Stephen Lee

in collaboration with Carolina Tamayo

Uptown neighborhood formally called the Soho is a very characteristic neighborhood located very close to the Central Business District of Pittsburgh. Post a cataclysmic fire in the 1800s a very wealthy residential area soon became a working class area with a lot of empty lots largely populated by foreign mill workers and their families.  Since the onset of the 21st century a lot of effort has been taken by the Pittsburgh government and the to reassert a sense of character to the neighborhood.

Maker Center or the idea of people coming together to create, invent, tinker and explore creative ideas is a great way to inculcate a sense of identity and togetherness among its residents. Social Education is a maker center that includes a gallery space, an educational center and a public Carnegie Library extension aimed at providing communal spaces with the idea of learning by seeing and doing. The building is located along the Fifth Avenue corridor that serves as a thriving opportunity to enhance the neighborhood by providing a social hub to the neighborhood.

This maker center integrates a social bridge that visually or physically connects to all the programmatic spaces.  The program of the maker center includes a gallery space, an educational center and a public Carnegie Library extension aimed at providing communal spaces with the idea of learning by seeing and doing. Exposed structure and utilities provide opportunities for learning, inspire the "make" culture of the maker center and the mezzanine levels help achieve visual connection to facilitate the above. Steel and concrete are primarily used to provide strength and achieve the industrious look.

Render of the Maker Center looking at the entrance from Fifth Avenue

Plan of the third floor of the Library extension and the second floor through the social bridge and the mezzanine level of the big room

Plan of the first floor entrance of the maker center including the library entrance and the gallery space and the plan of the basement level of the big room

West Elevation of the Maker Center showing the grade change from street level and the deployable roof struture

Vertical Section cutting through the social bridge, the review gallery and the big room

North Elevation of the maker center looking at the entrance and the bridge, the Carnegie library and the review space from Fifth Avenue

Horizontal section cutting through the library, the bridge, the big room and the lobby

Wall Section cut through the wall of the library showing brick veneer, metal panelling, insulation, and glass windows

Wall Section cut through the back of the big room wall showing metal panelling, green wall and its relationship to the residents

Render showing the inside of the big room and its visual interaction with the social bridge

Structure diagram showing the steel structure and the concrete pier foundation

Structure diagram showing the steel structure and the concrete pier foundation

Concept diagram of the maker center showing the social corridor and its visual or literal connection to the other major program spaces

Concept diagram of the maker center showing the social corridor and its visual or literal connection to the other major program spaces

Diagram showing the sustainable ideas achieved through the building in terms of internal water collection, external water collection and ventilating the building

Diagram showing the sustainable ideas achieved through the building in terms of internal water collection, external water collection and ventilating the building

Model images