Buzzing around the clock

New mixed-use tower revitalises downtown Pittsburgh

by James 30 October 2010
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    Setting the stage for Pittsburgh to become a model of smart, sustainable urban growth, Three PNC Plaza is a 750,000 sq ft, 23-storey mixed-use development comprised of a Fairmont Hotel, offices, residential condominiums, and ground floor retail. As Pittsburgh’s first major building in over 25 years, the LEED Gold project is a catalyst for growth and a means for revitalising the downtown core with around-the-clock activity.

    To support a vibrant streetscape, the Hotel, Office and Condo lobbies are interconnected as a single space. Visitors, tenants and residents move seamlessly through these spaces mimicking the dynamic urban experience outside. The Office Lobby is a centrepiece to the rejuvenation of the Fifth Avenue corridor. Retail spaces give definition to the lobbies and also activate the streets they face onto. The programmatic elements are expressed as disparate planes tied together by a series of overlapped grids and horizontal fins at the curtain wall and separated by a horizontal and vertical notch.

    The Fairmont Pittsburgh anchors the first impression for the building with a dramatic lobby orientated towards the Triangle Park and bustling Liberty Avenue. The restaurant is clad with a wood-slatted box that hovers over the main reception area creating a memorable view through the transparent exterior facade. An interconnecting staircase moves parallel to the street to highlight the activity and energy within.

    The design team sought to create a locally authentic experience with the theme of 'art and industry' throughout the building, taking cues from the surrounding urban influences of Pittsburgh. Local artists were commissioned to create artwork and custom lighting. Artifacts from the 1800’s that were discovered during the building excavation are incorporated into the design and displayed throughout the hotel.

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