Improving Lives on the Court, and Off
Steel City Squash, Larimer Community Squash & Education Center
To Project Types
Pittsburgh, PA | 18,500 SF
Steel City Squash provides life-changing opportunities to underserved students from across Pittsburgh through mentoring, tournament travel, and the sport of squash. The organization’s new home in the neighborhood of Larimer will reflect this mission while bringing resources to its community.
An educational space on one side, and a sports facility on the other, the vestibule where the two activities meet passes through the whole building to ensure that there is no back door. Whether students enter from the busy Larimer Avenue, the parking lot, or the surrounding neighborhood, the front door greets them with a sense of arrival and affirmation. Reinforced by the upward sweep of the roofline, the building communicates the value and hope it sees in its young visitors.
The organization’s new home in the neighborhood of Larimer will reflect this mission while bringing resources to its community.
Populated by squash courts, a fitness room, and a central viewing platform, the eastern half of the building provides professional competition facilities that will double as the home for a nearby college team. Flexible classrooms, a college and career center, lounge, and offices in the southern half foster academic excellence and open to an exterior plaza.
Minimizing its carbon footprint and costs (upfront and operational), the building will be constructed of precast, insulated concrete panels. Increasing energy performance and reducing waste, these structural panels and the large, southern-facing roof will make the building net-zero energy ready. The panels will also feature a customized frit pattern which evokes the patina that develops from the ball glancing off the squash court wall. Warm wood panels and a large mural will soften the exterior’s appearance while raingardens manage stormwater runoff and greet visitors.