Second Year | Spring 2017
Studio Coordinator: Jeremy Ficca
Studio Professor: Jennifer Lucchino
To design a mixed-use project that will contribute to the business vitality of East Liberty’s central business district while nurturing the creative culture of Pittsburgh’s East End. Urban I+S activities and users are intentionally widespread to maximize utilization and impact throughout the day, evening, week and across seasons. The Urban I+S consists of three primary program components: (1) Technology Business (Incubator), (2) New Media Gallery and Event Space (Stimulator), (3) Café.
I approached this project by first focusing on the site context and creating ideas of community and public urban flow into the building. With the concept of community in mind, I designed a grand staircase that would serve as a way to vertically connect the exhibition and office spaces within the Urban I+S, and allow for large open areas for new media exhibition.
Urban I+S compliments the East Liberty Public Library and the Ace Hotel to expand the cultural and educational activities adjacent to the site. While encompassed within one structure, the three program components operate with a degree of autonomy, allowing independent operating hours. The Technology Business Incubator will award grants in the form of physical space resources and advising for small business start-ups for a duration of 6-9 months, through their business launch. The incubator will support up to three start-ups at any given time through flexible office and meeting spaces. The New Media Gallery and Event Space will support a diverse range of activities, including the display of immersive and interactive media art and the production of public events, including performances, lectures, films, and social gatherings. The Café will operate during morning and lunch hours to offer casual dining.