Two GBBN Projects Win Design Awards from AIA Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH – At their annual Design Awards and Gala on October 19, 2017, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Pittsburgh honored two GBBN projects with Certificates of Merit: The Sorrells Library renovation at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and the 8th Street Park designed for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Recognized in the Interior Architecture category, the Sorrells Library renovation at CMU features three bamboo interventions that create a variety of study and collaboration spaces and re-establish this library as a hub for active learning and information gathering. Minimizing disruption during construction was a priority, so the freestanding wood formations were fabricated off-site and installed in just two weeks. The resulting space is full of surprising contrasts—warm, curved wood within the existing concrete envelope; soaring interior and intimate cloister; the play of daylight throughout—that renew the relationship between library and user. The jury noted: “The wood inserts are a very smart, strategic intervention. They modernize the space while keeping the integrity of the original building.”

The 8th Street Park was recognized in the Regional + Urban Design category. This urban parklet is a model of sustainability and has at its heart an iconic, illuminated drinking fountain that dispenses both still and carbonated water. It also features benches and bike racks sculpted from aluminum, improved drainage, and attractive landscaping. Since its debut in May 2016, the Water Cube has provided nearly 5,500 gallons of water and saved an estimated 41, 467 disposable bottles from landfills. Jury comments included: “This project takes a water dispenser, an object that often goes unnoticed, and makes it into an object that defines the space. It’s very simple and smart. It even glows in the evening, adding to how it creates a welcoming place.”

To learn more about these projects, visit: Sorrells Library + 8th Street Park