Garfield, Pittsburgh

* Environmental Learning Center

Advanced Construction Studio
Carnegie Mellon University / Pittsburgh / PA
Professors: Steve Lee, Stefani Danes
Spring 2020

The environmental Learning Center is situated in Garfield, a neigh-borhood of Pittsburgh currently ex-periencing high residential vacancy rates. The community, which is largely African American, 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.

Urban Analysis + Intervention : Garfield, Pittsburgh

Environmental Learning Center

Gallery / Courtyard Section