The new Pittsburgh Architecture Week celebrates local design

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SOLDIERS & SAILORS MEMORIAL HALL & MUSEUM, PHOTOS COURTESY OF AIA PITTSBURGH

for the first time ever, The The Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Institute of Architect and the Pittsburgh Architecture Foundation team up for Architecture Week in Pittsburgh.

The annual event, taking place from September 26th to October 2nd, aims to increase appreciation and awareness of architectural design and recognize the important role design plays in the community and in people’s daily lives. The Pittsburgh area’s notable architectural gems include recent additions such as PPG Place and the Frick Environmental Center, as well as the historic landmark Fallingwater, designed by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright for the Kaufmann family of the Laurel Highlands.

“Our city has outstanding architecture, both historically and contemporary,” said Michelle Fanzo, executive director of AIA’s Pittsburgh chapter, of the founding of Pittsburgh Architecture Week. “We asked, ‘How can we help others see that?’ We realized that we can achieve this by illuminating architecture.”

07 Cmoa Hall of Architecture

CARNEGIE MUSEUM OF ART HALL OF ARCHITECTURE

Beatrice Spolidoro, director at Fisher ARCHitecture in Pittsburgh and an Italian architect, hopes the event will be a way to learn more about what goes into designing a building. Fanzo adds that a building’s design can send a powerful message.

“The public tends to focus on completed projects, but it’s a process, like writing,” says Fanzo. “The process was invisible and we want to increase public engagement.”

“It’s really important to prioritize the process behind the scenes,” adds Spolidoro. “We want them to know how architecture has evolved. Health and safety and many other things are changing because of new laws.”

09K12 Architecture Day

From parels, tours and activities like Build a Homewood Community Space, Learn How to Think Like an Architect and Design a Space for Kids to a tour of the Oakland Civic Center Historic District, there will be numerous events during Pittsburgh Architecture.

Many of the activities are free but require registration; Tickets for paid events cost less than $20.

If you can only attend one event, both Fanzo and Spolidoro recommend PechaKucha Night. The event will take place on September 27th at the Ascender Co-Working Space in East Liberty and will feature 10 speakers, each sharing their work in 6 minutes and 40 seconds with appropriate words and images.

The 39th Annual Draft the Pittsburgh program — which celebrates local architecture and design and honors those who create it — also takes place on September 29 during Pittsburgh Architecture Week. The event includes the annual audience award, where people can vote for their favorite architectural projects. Voting closes on September 26th and winners will be announced on September 30th.

For a complete listing of Pittsburgh Architecture Week events, visit Visit here.

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