17 More Student Teams Present Plans for North Side Lot
PHLF’s 17th Annual Architectural Design Challenge drew to a close on April 17 when 17 teams––four high school and thirteen middle school––presented their models showing their visions for a vacant lot at 110 W. North Avenue, Northside. Students envisioned arts and community centers, a homeless shelter and workforce development office, a tutoring and enrichment center for young people, and an ice cream store with apartments above, among many other ideas.
We thank urban planners Barbara Ciampini and Steven Gifford; architects Tom Celli, Joe Grescovich, Joseph Hudec, Roger Hartung, and Andrew Lang; and interior designers Stevie Greek and Sheri Kosh for critiquing the models and awarding the prizes. We thank Carole Malik for allowing us to host the design challenge at Greensburg-Salem Middle School.
Funds from The Fine Foundation, McSwigan Family Foundation, and Alfred M. Oppenheimer Memorial Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation help underwrite PHLF’s annual Architectural Design Challenge.
The following prizes were awarded to high school teams: Greensburg-Salem (First Place Overall and Winner of the Student Award); Penn Trafford (Second Place); Monessen (Third Place); and Yough (Honorable Mention).
The following prizes were awarded to middle school teams: Monessen (First Place); Greensburg-Salem Team 2 (Second Place and Winner of the Student Award); Yough Team 5 (Third Place); Yough Team 4 (Honorable Mention); Penn Team 3 (Honorable Mention); Greensburg-Salem Team 1 (Honorable Mention); Penn Team 2 (Penguin Award).
“I found it inspiring to hear all the ideas and to see how each group chose to use the challenge site,” said Education Coordinator Karen Cahall. She commended the teams for “bringing something useful to the neighborhood and incorporating modern elements and green-building features in a way that respected the historic character of the Northside.”
“The Design Challenge is an interdisciplinary project that brings great benefits to all who participate,” said PHLF Executive Director Louise Sturgess. Students use math skills to calculate scale and space restrictions; art––to creatively depict their concepts; writing and public speaking for their oral and written presentations; and research and Social Studies skills to understand the needs of the area.
Three students from Penn Trafford made the following comments about their Design Challenge experience:
- “From measuring out the dimensions of the building to designing the exterior and interior, to writing a persuasive report that showcases our building in the best possible light, it is exciting to see all of those aspects of education come together in a real-world situation.”
- “Urban planning is more about bringing community together and forming a bond more so than just being pretty.”
- “I’ve always loved the way old buildings look, but this project gives you a new appreciation for what they mean and how important it is to preserve them in appreciation for the art they offer.”