MASTERPLAN___This project began with a series of masterplanning charettes with a group of local professionals familiar with the site. The program for the site's future development includes street front retail space, a feature building as a gateway to the university, incubator office space (CIC2), a conference center, and a hotel. The group agreed on several guidelines for the masterplan of the site: 1) ground floor retail should be placed along Forbes Avenue, matching the scale of existing retail along Craig and Forbes, 2) CIC2 should relate to CIC1 across the ravine- the two building being connected by a walk bridge, 3) the feature building should gain its presence by being oriented towards the intersection of Forbes and Craig, and 4) pedestrian travel through the site should be a unique experience.
The site plan design responds to these guidelines. The primary concept of the site plan is a ravine cut through the site. This water retention feature is meant to connect the site to nearby Schenley Park and revitalize the former nature of the landscape. Two water retention ponds at the lower end of this ravine are focal points for a small park along the existing bike route. Massing allows Southern sun into the interior landscape, warming outdoor decks and greenroofs for optimal use throughout the year.
HOTEL DESIGN STRATEGY___The 120-room hotel combines double-loaded, single-loaded, and terraced room layouts. Placement of the main elevator and mechanical core relates to the drop-off and lobby located a short drive downhill from the intersection of Forbes and Craig. Egress for the tower rooms is provided by two firestairs. These stairs are spacious and well-lit, inviting guests to use them instead of the elevators.
The lobby, restaurant, and lounge levels are connected in an open triple-height space. The lobby roof and drop-off canopy are intensive green roofs, serving as an outdoor seating area for the restaurant. The adjacency of a Living Machine greenhouse to all of these public spaces provides a year-round park-like amenity.
SYSTEMS INTEGRATION STRATEGY___The primary goals of the hotel's systems is to conserve energy and provide comfort for guests. One of the main energy savers is an air-to-air heat exchanger with desiccant wheel of the roof. This piece of equipment transfers energy from return air to 100% outside air, which is then distributed through a displacement ventilation system to the inside. The desiccant wheel removes humidity in order to lower the air's wet-bulb temperature for improved comfort levels. This displacement ventilation system is able to provide 60-70% of the building's heating and cooling loads throughout the year.
Additional heating and cooling is occupant-controlled in each guest room. The water-based heating system begins with heat pipe evacuated tube solar collectors on the roof. Hot water is then stored in the basement before passing through heat pump. Water from the heat pump is distributed through a radiant floor system.
For additional cooling, each guest room is provided with a fan-coil unit fed by geothermally cooled water. Chilled air from the fan coil units is diffused directly above the bed, where cool air is most needed, through a cloth duct canopy.
Operable windows and sliding balcony doors allow occupants to outside air for ventilation and heating/cooling. Contact sensors disable other systems if windows are opened.
GUEST ROOM DESIGN___The bed acts as the primary organizing element in the guest room layout. Facing a large window wall, the bed connects occupants to the exterior. If the balcony doors are opened, the bed is seemingly placed outside for the most ideal sleeping conditions. A solid headboard is eight feet tall and creates a entry/work/seating space in the front of the room.
An enclosed shower and toilet with separate exhaust reduces humidity levels in the room, while the sink is integrated into a storage unit along the wall. Local material choices for furniture and finishes not only give the room a natural flavor, they also improve indoor air quality because they contain no VOC's. Occupant-controlled blinds control glare. Another set of blackout blinds is provided for daytime sleeping. These blackout blinds double as a screen for a ceiling mounted TV projector.
Status: School Project
Location: Pittsburgh, PA, US