Take A Drink of Life

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Water Cube & 8th Street park

To Project Types

Pittsburgh, PA | 2,000 SF

Functional public art meets sustainable
public amenity in the Water Cube
Bottles saved Illustration

In what may be a first in the United States, the Water Cube in downtown Pittsburgh is a functional piece of art that dispenses free, chilled, still and sparkling water. It’s strictly BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) to encourage re-usable bottle use and discourage waste.

A 5-foot-by-5-foot laminated glass cube sits atop an 18-inch stainless steel cylindrical base. Visually, the cube’s base disappears at night when the Water Cube is illuminated, making it appear to levitate. The cube is further animated by an internal LED light system that pulsates rhythmically—like a heartbeat—a reminder of life’s connection to water.

Artboard 1

To date, the Water Cube has provided 5,475 gallons of water to 57,456 people and kept an estimated 41,467 disposable bottles out of landfills.

Artboard 1 copy
- Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

Not only was the Water Cube designed to address the environmental strain caused by disposable plastic bottles but the surrounding parklet features a pervious paver system and mounded landscape. These allow water to percolate naturally into the ground rather than running off into the city’s storm water lines.

AIA Ohio Merit Award

AIA Cincinnati Architecture Honor Award

AIA Pittsburgh Certificate of Merit