Focusing on the ALMONO site, three studios totalling forty students explored the challenges and opportunities embedded in the reclaiming and reprogramming of this post-industrial urban terrain by reconnecting it to surrounding human and natural ecologies, exploring programmatic scenarios, and designing a piece of sustainable contemporary urbanism. Each studio approached the site with a different programmatic focus in relation to the public realm.
The Robot City Studio explored how the spatial and economic context of the site, in particular its proximity to Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh, offered unique opportunities for a cluster of robotics and related research and development facilities with local, national and global economic implications. The studio, run by Adjunct Assistant Professor Jonathan Kline, sought to reinterpret the default scenario of the ‘R & D office park’, already in place in the nearby Pittsburgh Technology Center, by integrating and layering these building and landscape programs into a mixed-use district with an urban public realm.
Assistant Professor and Lucian and Rita Caste Chair Kelly Hutzell’s Urban Housing Studio focused on a range of housing types and densities looking for connections to both the Hazelwood neighborhood and the universities. Solutions were meant to be both innovative and realistic in terms of regulatory codes and the logic of the local real estate market, while emphasizing mixed-use development, Smart Growth strategies and Transit Oriented Development.
In the Possible Publics Studio, Assistant Professor Rami el Samahy instructed students to consider the public design of buildings, space and infrastructure for its central role in creating character of place and function for the new neighborhood, as well as its capacity to establish links to the larger Hazelwood community.