Industrial Past Meets Sustainable Future

Almono LP & OneValley, The Roundhouse at Hazelwood Green

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Pittsburgh, PA | 25,000 SF

Once a home for machines, the 19th Century roundhouse at Hazelwood Green welcomes 21st Century researchers and entrepreneurs.
Perfect for hosting important presentations and funder events, the second floor’s featured conference room surveys the activity below.

Part of the shuttered, 178-acre J & L Steel Mill, the 10-bay roundhouse originally serviced and turned train engines, redirecting the materials they carried to different stops in the production process. Now, as a co-working space for technology accelerator GSVlabs, the roundhouse will not only speed the delivery of groundbreaking innovations, it will be the first project tracked against Pittsburgh’s new resiliency standards.

While the design embraces the existing materials and volume of the roundhouse…
the addition of a partial second floor adjusts its volume to a human scale.

Preserving this important piece of Pittsburgh’s past, the design uses a light touch to celebrate the existing structure while adapting it to a human scale. Partially built into a hillside, the roundhouse was a cavernous two-story space, darkened by decades of industrial use and abandonment, but the removal of a century of soot from the brick walls and underside of the pine roof deck warms the interior. The addition of a partial second floor provides more office space (and a featured, glass-walled conference room) while also scaling the space down for its human inhabitants. At the same time, the removal of unnecessary walls and the replacement of its giant garage doors with windows enables occupants to appreciate the volume of this light-filled space.

The turntable, which once directed trains down different tracks, is being repurposed to provide a relaxing space for the roundhouse’s inhabitants.

The giant windows where the garage doors once were open to views outside, where a new public space uses native plants to integrate the site’s industrial remains—its turntable, the steel frame of an old shed—into the landscape of the Monongahela River.

Using shrubs, trees, planters, and public art to reintegrate fragments of the site’s industrial past into the landscape, the plan leverages partnerships with local nonprofits to make this a true community space.