Facilities and Resources-School of Architecture - Carnegie Mellon University

The School of Architecture is located on Carnegie Mellon’s park-like campus in two historic buildings designed by Henry Hornbostel, the founder and first head of the program.

With an enrollment of 280 full time undergraduate students, the studio, critique, and exhibition space is approximately 100 square feet per student. Each student has their own desk and storage space for tools and materials.

The main administrative offices, fourth and fifth year studios, critique space, plotting and computing facilities, the woodshop, and faculty offices are located on the second floor of the College of Fine Arts building, along with 4 university classrooms used extensively by the School. First, second, and third-year studios as well as faculty offices, a computer lab, and critique spaces are located on the second and third floor of Margaret Morrison Carnegie Hall. The Graduate program is housed on the fourth floor of Margaret Morrison Carnegie Hall, including administrative and faculty offices, the Master's studio, Ph.D. offices, the Intelligent Workplace, and the Graduate Computer Lab.

The School of Architecture has two dedicated meeting and conference spaces: the Kerr Conference Room, which is located in the main office in the College of Fine Arts building; and 203 Margaret Morrison Carnegie Hall with it’s intricately carved Hornbostel tables. In addition, reconfigurable meeting and project spaces are available in the Intelligent Workplace on the 4th floor of Margaret Morrison Carnegie Hall.

Computing Facilities Computers are an integral part of educational activities in the School of Architecture. In addition to the world-class facilities maintained by the University (public computer clusters) and the College of Fine Arts (the high-end visualization lab), over fifty computers are spread throughout the studio spaces exclusively for SoArch student use. These machines are all supplied with state-of-the-art architectural software.

Carnegie Mellon has been ranked the "most wired" university in the United States, partially due to its extensive wireless networking. Students can connect their computers to the high-speed network in any university space, making it easy to use laptop machines in the studio and classroom settings.

Plotting and Printing Four plotters are designated for the undergraduate Architecture students to use. These plotters may be used free of charge, but students must provide paper. Alternatively, students may purchase printouts from the School of Architecture’s staffed plotting facility. The plot office is equipped with a high-speed plotter, color laserwriter, color tabloid inkjet, and a large-format scanner.

Digital Fabrication Lab The Digital Fabrication (dFab) Lab is a bridge between the digital and the physical and is intended to be utilized throughout the design process at multiple scales. Furthermore, the dFab Lab will equip young professionals with the skills to thrive in an increasingly fluid and technologically sophisticated model of practice. This facility is a natural fit in a school of architecture with a strong legacy of innovation in design education and at a university renowned for the advancement and application of technology.

The dFab Lab is located in the basement of Margaret Morrison Hall. Our range of equipment includes various digitally-driven additive and subtractive tools including 3D printing, laser cutting, 3-axis CNC milling, 6-axis robotic milling cell, and vacuum forming. A materials library, workshop space and CAD/CAM cluster are also part of the facility. The lab is open roughly 40 hours per week and is staffed by student monitors who have authority in the operation and safety of lab use.

SoArch Shop The School of Architecture has a long tradition of merging shop and early design. Every student receives training in the shop during their first semester at Carnegie Mellon so that they may use these classic wood and metal-working skills during their entire undergraduate career. The woodshop provides a setting for each member of the School of Architecture to explore the process of designing and creating handmade objects.

The shop is nearly 3,800 square feet in size with a large machine and assembly room, tool and material storage areas, a project storage area, offices and a library, and an adjacent pin-up area for design review. The shop is equipped with a surfacer, 2 jointers, 2 table saws, a radial arm saw, 2 wood band saws, a metal band saw, metal and wood lathes, a milling machine, a table top router, 4 drill presses, vertical and horizontal belt sanders, 2 disc sanders, 2 jig saws, and a plethora of other power and hand tools. It is specifically for the use of architecture students and faculty for class and School-related projects.

The Intelligent Workplace With the support of major building industries and federal agencies, the School of Architecture's Center for Building Performance & Diagnostics completed the Intelligent Workplace in 1997. This is an unprecedented "living laboratory" of innovations in enclosure, HVAC, lighting, telecommunications and interior systems for professional education and research. Daylight is the major light source, windows are operable to encourage natural ventilation, and window mullions filled with hot or cold water in order to heat or cool the space. All students have access to the Intelligent Workplace and it is used as a learning tool in both the graduate and undergraduate programs.

Audio/Video Equipment A.V. Equipment is available for school-related activities. This includes digital cameras and portable projectors for each studio year. This equipment is kept with the computing team in the main office of the School of Architecture. Students must request equipment at least one week before the scheduled event. School of Architecture students can also reserve time in the College of Fine Arts shooting studio to use professional photography equipment to document their three-dimensional work.

Library The Carnegie Mellon University Libraries provides research and information resources for School of Architecture students and faculty. The Libraries hold collections of more than one million volumes, subscribes to thousands of journals and electronic databases, and is a leader in the movement toward the digital library.

Architecture collections include more than 50,000 volumes representing architecture and related fields, nearly 100 subscriptions to journals and electronic databases, an image collection, and the Carnegie Mellon University Architecture Archives, a regional collection of architectural drawings and other records. The core collections in architecture are located in the Hunt Library, an arts, humanities, and social sciences library. Additional materials relevant to architectural study are housed in the Engineering and Science Library in Wean Hall. The Architecture Research Guide web page is an important point of access to architectural research and information resources.

The Architecture Librarian and Archivist Martin Aurand (email:maurand@andrew.cmu.edu) teaches information literacy skills in the School of Architecture, and provides reference and research consultation services.