Pittsburgh Cultural Trust / The 8th Street Park


Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Scope: Complete Architectural

Size: 2,000 SF

The 8th Street Park is situated in an area of reprieve within downtown Pittsburgh. Surrounded in three directions by high-rise buildings and a multi-story parking garage, the northern edge is a parking lot from Penn Avenue to the Allegheny River providing relief from the density of downtown and allowing views to Pittsburgh’s Northside. 

The park elements consist of the glass Water Cube, steel and aluminum benches and bike racks. The enclosure is a 5.5’ cube and sits atop an 18” cylindrical stainless steel base. The elements are modular and shift to erode the edge of the sidewalk. The mounding of the earth and abundant planting along the parking lot obscures the view of the cars and the parking beyond. The plantings along the back edge provide a wall which reinstates the streetscape as an outdoor room and the eroded edge allows for a re-linking of the sidewalk to its context creating place from residual space. 

The Water Cube is a functional art piece housing still and sparkling water dispensaries. LED lights within the cube pulse, further animating the cube at night. The Water Cube encourages its patrons to utilize reusable water bottles in an effort to relieve stress imparted on the environment by disposable water bottles. 

Not only was the Water Cube designed to address this environmental strain, the project also decreased the impervious area with the addition of a pervious paver system and mounded landscape. These features allow more water to naturally percolate into the ground rather than being directed into the City’s storm water lines.