Garfield, Pittsburgh

* Environmental Learning Center

Spring 2020

The environmental Learning Center is situated in Garfield, a neighborhood of Pittsburgh currently experiencing high residential vacancy rates. The community has experienced a lack of investment within the neighborhood and as a result a lack of important urban amenities that have likely been one of the key reasons for the vacancies.

Through city wide urban analysis, the first part of the project looks to mitigate some of the economic, social, and environmental problems present within Garfield by implementing greenspace/transportation components strategically into existing vacant lots. These components include: public parks, bioswales, bike share stations, and bike lanes.

The main architectural project, the Environmental Learning Center, will act as a new hub for com-munity gathering and public education for the neighborhood. The building itself is sited in a block of vacant parcels and uses terracing to create outdoor seating space out of the sloped terrain. In line with the environmental education goals of the center, the building uses sustainable materials, a well insulated building envelope, strategic solar shading, and a sawtooth roof geometry to collect rainwater and house solar PV’s.

Gallery / Courtyard Section