Monday, June 11, 2018

Hazelwood Green, Pittsburgh Selects Gustafson Guthrie Nichol As Public Plaza Designer

Hazelwood Green, a former steel mill site that is the City of Pittsburgh’s largest riverfront redevelopment project, Monday announced the design firm Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN) has been selected to create the first public plaza at the 178-acre site.
GGN, whose past work includes the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, D.C.; North End Parks, Boston, Mass.; and The Lurie Garden at Millennium Park, Chicago, Ill.,  was selected out of a field of 30 design firms that submitted qualifications in response to an RFQ issued in November 2017.
The Public Plaza is envisioned as an adaptable and innovative gathering and event space for those who work, reside in, or visit Hazelwood Green and its neighborhood of Hazelwood.  Elements of the new Plaza may include benches and seating, green space and native plantings, lighting, public art, and space for seasonal events.
GGN will work with local Pittsburgh firms, including Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Klavon Design Associates, KU Resources, and Santangelo & Lindsay, on elements of the project. Additional partners include DCW Cost Management, SITEGreen Solutions, and Tillett Lighting Design Associates.
“We received an outstanding mix of proposals, but were most impressed by GGN and their understanding of the role of this first public space in shaping Hazelwood Green as a place and for its important role within a larger system of well-loved civic centers in the City of Pittsburgh,” says Hazelwood Green Project Director Rebecca Flora.  “GGN’s portfolio reflects a high quality of design and aesthetic, as well as sensitivity and experience in the integration of sustainability with design elements, all of which align with the vision for Hazelwood Green. These attributes, together with their demonstrated ability and commitment to working within the constraints of the project’s budget and schedule, made GGN the clear choice among a team of highly qualified contenders.”
The two-acre space allocated for the Plaza lies south of the Mill 19 building, an expansive former mill structure currently under construction, that will house Hazelwood Green’s first anchor tenants – the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute and Carnegie Mellon University’s Manufacturing Futures Initiative.
Mill 19 will open out onto one of the Plaza’s four sides, with a second side facing Hazelwood Green’s Main Street – Lytle Street – that will begin construction this summer. The remaining two sides of the Plaza will be framed by future buildings that will activate first floor uses facing the Plaza as market interest evolves.
Design for the Plaza will commence in June, with construction anticipated to begin in early 2019, with a late summer or early fall completion date.
“Hazelwood Green is regenerative land. It is land that has changed so much over time and its most recent transition is a big one – from a privately held steel mill to a publicly accessible gathering place for the community of Pittsburgh,” says GGN Founding Principal Jennifer Guthrie, FASLA, PLA. “It’s a big change. This whole group – client and design team – is ‘all in’ to create a civic heart for Hazelwood Green that is welcoming for everyone and nourishes the bigger landscape.”
Kathryn Gustafson, FASLA, PLA, and Founding Principal, GGN, adds, “It’s an incredible site – the wooded green hills drop down to a flat land plain, and from there you see green mountains, river, and sky from one direction,  and green mountain, sky, and the city view from the other. These are the two views that characterize this wonderful place that we are honored to help shape.”
GGN’s proposal was selected by a nine-member advisory committee that included:  Karen Abrams, Program Officer, Equitable Development, The Heinz Endowments; Rebecca Flora, AICP, LEED BD+C/ND, Hazelwood Green Project Director; Raymond W. Gastil, AICP, Director, Department of City Planning, City of Pittsburgh; Nicole Graycar, AIA, Project Manager, Campus Design and Facility Development Carnegie Mellon University; Don Johnson, Senior Development Manager, Regional Industrial Development Corporation (RIDC); Sean C. Luther, Executive Director, InnovatePGH; Lawrence T. Mangan, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer, C.W. Benedum Foundation; Sam Reiman, Associate Director, Richard King Mellon Foundation; and Tim Smith, Executive Director, Center of Life, Chair, Greater Hazelwood Community Collaborative (GHCC).  The selection process was facilitated by Mary Navarro and the Plaza’s project manager, Katrina Flora, AICP.
For more information, visit the Hazelwood Green website.
(Photo: One early concept not from GGN.)

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