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.