Behnisch Architekten – Pittsburgh RiverPark

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[Image: RiverPark Night Rendering]

Here is a little more information on the Pittsburgh RiverPark by Behnisch Architekten . Menace hit y’all with a post on work they exhibited at the GSD back in September of the year past. So here is the skinny on the RiverPark:

Is: A competition-winning design that incorporates green urban design initiative in the form of various height and size mixed-use buildings.

Now: Pittsburgh is a city with a lack of housing in their core downtown area [cities such as NYC, Toronto, & Boston have a good mix of housing throughout their concrete jungles].

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[Image: RiverPark Waterfront Rendering]

Aim: For people to re-examine the ‘American Dream’ – a house in the ‘burbs, 2.5 kids, etc. – for an all-in-one living experience within a pedestrian-friendly, developing area of downtown Pittsburgh.

Proposed: RiverPark – ‘an urban rejuvenation project’ that merges an ensemble of flexible, green mixed-use buildings on six acres. The design incorporates 700 residential units overall, varying the forms and styles of the proposed units. Mixed in with the residences will be retail shops, restaurants, lifestyle facilities [such as a gym], a hotel and convention hall facilities.

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[Image: City Rendering 01]

Anyone in design school who has had the pleasure [however excruciating it may have been at the time] to formulate their own ideas on how mixed-use buildings [or areas] should be formed know how difficult it is to a. come up with something that works, b. have it function in terms of space, flow, engagement to the existing city fabric, and c. look good, period. Add green-specific systems into the mix, and one is designing a whole other beast all together. But hakuna matata, my ninjas, cause Behnisch got it all locked in.

Green?: There are a number of systems included in the design of the RiverPark. In terms of energy, there will be a [noiseless!] wind turbine at the water front, photovoltaics integrated into the south facing facade, and an underground water heating/ cooling pump. The micro-climate within the RiverPark was also reimagined with the use of green roofs and landscaping and water features [probably to regulate the super-high humidity in the summer and strong cold fronts in the winter]. The staggered building heights allow for direct sunlight to pass through the buildings and shine uninhibited onto the water front.

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[Image: Energy Concept Diagram]

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[Image: Micro-Climate Concept Diagram]

The Behnisch RiverPark design can really be used as a stepping-stone for success in most American cities that have not already had major downtown renovations. I have walked around a city like Toronto [where it fronts The Harbor] and the pedestrian interaction and general activities that occur daily along the waterfront really engage a multitude of individuals and their varied interests [note: did anyone know Toronto has an art museum along the waterfront? Get up north and visit, my ninjas! Also get into the city and visit here and here too]. Also, as the time of day changes the activities also change with it. It’s kinda a mix of Providence’s Water-Fire and Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, except i don’t feel like I’m gonna get mugged walking around at night. Canada just produces more docile ninjas, i guess.

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[Image: City Rendering 02]

All images & information from the Behnisch website. Peace.

[[Post by DUBS]]

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