News from SPRINGBOARD-School of Architecture - Carnegie Mellon University

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


SPRINGBOARD’S Plans Unveiled For Florida’s Backus Museum

At a press conference on May 25, 2010, in Fort Pierce, Florida, the A.E. Backus Museum announced that they are moving forward with the first phase of SPRINGBOARD’s three-phase expansion plans for the museum. Phase One will be completed by late 2011. The expansion will include new permanent and temporary galleries, a rooftop gallery, an education center, sculpture garden and other spaces. The interior of the existing building will also be renovated to provide additional space for museum administration and an expanded gift shop. The announcement was front page news in the St. Lucie News Tribune. Backus Museum Executive Director  Kathleen Fredrick was quoted as saying that, ” We want the new museum to be the ultimate jewel of the Treasure Coast.” SPRINGBOARD’s Principal, Architect Paul Rosenblatt, stated that the new building will be “100% green… we’ll be working with local consultants and local contractors. The expansion will make the museum an exciting destination that will bring new visitors and economic growth to Fort Pierce.” For the whole story [link]

SPRINGBOARD Design’s Loft / House to be featured on HGTV

SPRINGBOARD Design’s Loft / House will be featured on an upcoming episode of HGTV’s Bang For Your Buck.  Filming is scheduled for June, 2010. Bang For Your Buck is a half-hour series that focuses on three homeowners from the same city who renovate the same room of the house with the same budget. After the renovation, experts determine the value of each home, dramatically revealing whose remodeling choices were good investment decisions. According to HGTV, “We are bombarded with so many beautiful home renovation ideas, not only is it difficult to decide what we want, but it’s hard to determine which choices provide the greatest return on investment. Bang For Your Buck has the concrete answers on remodeling value and how to get the most out of any renovation budget.” In this episode, SPRINGBOARD Principal Paul Rosenblatt and his family will focus on the design of the Master Bathroom of their Loft / House renovation. Almost invisible from the street, SPRINGBOARD’s contemporary loft / house addition triples the size of an existing vintage 1917 Pittsburgh house. The spaces include a studio for a quilt artist, a living/dining room, and a master bedroom suite. The design features three floors, with 24 foot wide, column-free spans, and a 30 foot tall glass window wall facing a garden. Exterior materials include corrugated aluminum siding and painted cementitious panels. Conceptually, the design morphs a steel-and-aluminum industrial loft building archetype onto a traditionally gabled, masonry home. The fusion is surgical, removing the rear half of the gable to create a new, open-plan third floor. One existing, small bedroom is transformed into a dramatic, double-height hall for the new stairway, with a new skylight marking the transition space. The spacious master bath, with jacuzzi tub, shower, his and her sinks, and plentiful storage is covered in frosted sea-foam glass tile to complement the airy feel of the bedroom suite. Naturally-colored bamboo floors and recessed lighting maximize the lightness of the space and uninterrupted views to the outside. Their design ideas, before and after photographs, and the remodeling value of the plan will be revealed when the episode airs later in 2010. (Date to be announced)

National Aviary Marks Expansion Progress With Topping Off Ceremony

On May 19, 2010,  The National Aviary marked the progress of its $18.5 million expansion and renovation with a topping off ceremony and raising of the project’s final steel beam.This phase of the project includes construction of the Helen M. Schmidt FliteZoneTM Theater for live bird presentations, films and educational programming; the creation of new facades and grand entrance along Arch Street; a new Café with indoor and outdoor seating; an open-air rooftop Sky Deck for raptor lure-flying demonstrations and special events; and a new education classroom. Significant renovations to the existing facility are also taking place. The Aviary’s expansion and renovation are a project of SPRINGBOARD Design of Pittsburgh and New York, and are being done with the goal of achieving LEED certification for green design. Work is expected to be completed in September 2010. “The FliteZone Theater will be the nation’s first indoor educational theater designed to incorporate free-flight bird demonstrations as a critical part of conservation education programming,” says Patrick Mangus, executive director of the National Aviary. “Conservation-focused classes and presentations will be designed to help educate visitors about individual bird species, and about the importance of wildlife, biodiversity and the preservation of natural habitats. In addition to meeting LEED green building criteria, the project is also being developed as a model for bird-friendly design standards. “Millions of birds die each year from collisions with glass windows, lobbies and entrance spaces because flying birds read windows as small as 12 inches as an open void, and will attempt to fly through,” says Paul Rosenblatt, founding principal, SPRINGBOARD Design. ”The National Aviary expansion will employ extensive use of fritted glass, a material that employs a barely visible dot pattern. Fritted glass admits light in, while appearing opaque enough from the exterior for birds to recognize the glass as a surface, not a transparent space. The facility’s airy new entry will demonstrate that it is possible to create light-filled spaces that are also bird-friendly.”