Another project is near completion and this one takes my team all the way to the East Coast! Same client as Austin 13 +14, but looking a little further afield to Pittsburgh, PA on the CMU campus.
Firstly, let me be upfront: do not let the square footage fool you. This was not an easy project! The existing 8-story building is sited between a working railway, curvilinear backroads, and busy campus thoroughfare. The three lowest floors are active parking and not just for our building. We therefore could could not close down the structure for construction, making it that much harder for our GC.
Our area of work is located just above the top-most parking floor but below the first floor, or main entrance facing the campus. This means part of our floor was built into the steep slop and underneath the campus thoroughfare. Another challenge for our GC, as classes made it so we could not close down sections and minimizing noise was a driver during construction.
In architecture we often discuss place-making as the highest form of our craft. The platonic ideal of lifting up the very earth to create the foundations of our building; planting trees for walls; weaving branches and pruning canopies for our ceilings. I think this romantic idea has stuck with me and why I love tree houses.
While the dream to one day grow a building is not quite a reality today, there are examples in this world that still manage to create something special. This past week marks a special time in my life and we celebrated that at a place called O’luina. Photos do not do this place justice but, along with my memories, these will just have to do.